Explore the most popular waterfall trails near Sierra Madre with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

BRING A BUG NET!

have done this trail and all the variations up to Wilson and every time I'm grateful to have the bug net!

Did this on a Wednesday 7/18 at 6:30am. Sturtevant falls was a small fountain. as you back track a bit to go to the upper part of the trail looking down on Sturtevant Falls, some parts of the trails have been eroded since I did the hike all the way up to Mt Wilson last October. be careful since there are big sharp drops. There was only one other group at Mt Zion summit. It's a decent challenging hike. Felt it in my glutes the next day and I've done Whitney and Baldy so it's a good warm up to bigger peaks. Definitely recommend. Shaded mostly the whole way. It was very warm due to passing heat wave in the area just the week prior but the shade kept it comfortable. Saw several deers on the trail. My Fenix 5x clocked this in at 13 miles. Finished under 6.5 hrs with 2x20min photo/snack breaks. Plenty of out houses at various campsites (Hoagee's, Spruce). I wore a long sleeve and forgot to spray my clothes and got a bug bite on my forearm even with the long sleeve. be careful with ticks and all the bugs due to still creek water become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bugs. the bug of definitely manifested and also watched out for ticks due to all the deer I saw on the trail

bring lots of water!

happy hiking!

Great hike! However, like previous reviews stated it’s more that 12.6 miles. My fitness watch doc’d it as 17. 7 miles. Cafe at observatory was a lifesaver. Note: they close at 5pm.

We will def be back!

Beautiful trail, easy once you’re off the paved portion, the paved area is very steep so it had a a level of difficulty to the trail in the way back. Lot’s of cottages along the path that make this the enchanted forest. Decent size swimming hole and waterfall at the end. An enjoyable hike. Many trails off this one, not always clear on the descriptions which trail they are referring to.

Awesome cute trail , can be difficult every once in a while but over all a really calm hike !

Super invigorating hike with lots of pretty views to guide you to the top! Beware of bugs, use bug spray, and focus on the trail because it’s possible to veer off and end up somewhere unexpected. Up to the falls is a short in and out hike, however you will have an option to go further and reach mount Zion or mount Wilson, or to chantry flats. Come here if you want a challenge but with shade during hot days!

horseback riding
11 days ago

Nice place to visit beautiful easy trail
The trail itself is pretty clear and easy to hike
Be prepared to pay for parking (ticket otherwise) you need some sort of pass -
Equestrians do not visit during the weekend there will be no parking for trailers -go during the week -
There are TONS of poison oak but trails are pretty clear (so stay on it ) bring bug spray - the only down side was it’s VERY rocky for horses towards the end closer to falls -fine for hikers just be careful if you have equine friends joining -will definitely be returning with my pup for a good hike the scenery and sound of the running stream is nice .

hiking
12 days ago

Not the most spectacular falls in the San Gabriels (especially in the summer), but well worth the drive. The creekside trail is mostly shaded and passes come quaint cabins from the early 1900s. However, the first half mile or so down to Roberts camp is on a paved, unshaded road with about a 12% grade, all uphill on the way back, so plan accordingly.

Awwsome hike in to Spruce Grove CG. The campground has a lot of trees so it's great for hammocking. Overall the CG is clean and the outhouses were pretty clean for what they are. I still prefer just digging a cat hole over any outhouse though. There is water at camp (though the water level is low) and should be treated before drinking. Saw a few deer come through camp along with multiple squirrels as well as a small black bear (hanging your food or a bear canister is a must). Also, make sure that you bring bug spray as all of the biting menaces are out in full force.

hiking
14 days ago

Pretty easy hike, until the hike out. This weekend was super hot so it was rough. Bring plenty of water and take rests.
My doggy was tuckered

Great hike! Don’t forget your insect repellent!

My life is better for having completed this hike YALL! This was my first big “hard” hike! I finished this one solo and took me a good part of the day! Worth it just for a swing we randomly came across at some camp site! But at the peak of Mount Zion I said a little prayer and journeyed back down to sturtevant falls! I have a lot of respect for this hike and anyone who does it! Definitely will be back soon!

Great for the seclusion. As others have mentioned the summit is not much to look at but overall it was fun. Reward yourself with some junk food if the vendor is open when you go.

Kind of a boring hike to be honest. You hike all that way to reach a parking lot filled with families that drove up there to eat at the cafe. Won’t be doing this hike again anytime soon. At least it was a six pack crossed off the list. There are much better hikes then this long, boring, mosquito filled, non-rewarding summit.

Did this yesterday as part of the 6pack peak challenge.

1st, like everyone says, definitely not 12.5 miles. My All Trails recording clocked in at 14.7 with 5100ft of elevation gain. Once you cross the bridge at the bottom of the canyon, we went right and loved the views along the creek all the way to Sturtevant Camp, so much so that I had to google the history behind all the cabins this morning.

The camp is a great spot to recharge for the remaining 3 miles to the top because they were brutal. Tons of switchbacks. lots of elevation gain. So glad I had my hiking poles with me.

Hung out for an hour up at the top, refilled our camelbaks and set out for the trek down. The first two miles were in direct sunlight through a burn area, so pack your sunscreen. But like everyone below, look out for the left turn onto Wilson Trail. Then another left. Lots of switchbacks down. Hard on the knees. Again, poles were super helpful.

Once you get back to the bridge, you then have to trek the .5 miles straight uphill in direct sun again to get back to the parking lot. That was “fun” after completing the 14 mile loop. But after all was said and done, it was a fun loop, great scenery with a little bit of history and I got to put my Adventure Pass to use.

Note: sunscreen, bug spray and lots of water were musts. I went through 3.5L through the whole thing. I even brought some Cliff Shot Blocks (with extra sodium) that saved my legs from cramping up.

21 days ago

Great hike super easy overnighter but tons of bugs

Great morning hike to the Waterfall. Going down is easy, but going up is a bit challenging.

My favorite hike in the Angeles National Forest. The canyons are so lush and there is so much water, and the Mt. Zion trail is excellent -- well graded and not too steep. And beer at the end and the pack station!!!

hiking
23 days ago

Beautiful Leisure walk going down. Definitely a tough hike. Incline coming up is a booty buster!

Joined my co workers on the 6 peak challenge socal and this was our first one to climb. Ive done hiking before but this one was the hardest ive ever done but then again i wasnt on my fittest either but regardless of being fit or not its one tough cookie! Great experience and one for the books. I didnt get to make it to the top but proud to say i completed close to 11 miles total! Do recommend to take enough water to hydrate, early hike, sunblock, good hiking shoes/gear.

One of my favorite local hikes

hiking
29 days ago

This is me and my K-9s favorite place to go if we have a free weekday off! Otherwise weekends suuuuuuuuckah! It’s super shaded and a great work out too! Dope little water splash at the end where we chill and eat some lunch! Either way be cool and respect Mother Nature and clean up after your self there’s more and more trash along the way and it sucks cleaning up after other people.

Definitely challenging. Gnats, mosquitos, and poison oak are in full effect. Going up thru Sturtevant is particularly steep in last 2-3 miles to the summit; other side is more gradual. But the entire trail was shaded (at least 80%, minus the summit).

All Trails' directions leads you to the summit (DON'T USE IT). Google Maps to Chantry Flats. We clocked the full loop at 14-16 miles, not the 12.6 miles on All Trails.

Cosmic Cafe is a legit place to eat. Apple pie with ice cream was out of this world!

This hike took me over three hours so I agree it must be more than 8 miles and needed this application to stay on trails because it is not always clear. It was the best hike I have been in Southern California. Lots of trees, and lots of water. Nice historical sites too. It is difficult in terms of miles and some narrow/rocky passages but the trail is well established in most places. There are mosquitoes and poison oak.

This trail is really fun. A mixture of nice bush and pine trees to high elevation desert plants. The trail itself is well maintained but it isn’t well sign posted for this particular loop. I had the map for the trail downloaded and had no issues but if I had no map I would’ve struggled in a few places. It took me about 4 hours to get up to the top of the trail and 2 hours to get down.

The top of the trail has an area for sitting that overlooks the area and a clean tap for filling up drink bottles.

Nice and cool down between the trees. Once down in the canyon area the trek is pretty leisurely. I ended up jogging back from the waterfall with my partner.

completed this trail last weekend and we knew it was rated difficult but the mileage is way off. it says 12.6 but we charted 16.2 miles with an apple watch. make sure you have a full day to complete this hike. if you are not in top shape it will take you more than half the day. beautiful hike and definitely recommend.

A Beautiful hike! It's so amazing to find such a lush oasis of nature just minutes from the metropolis of LA. The hike is strenuous and exhilarating, but not necessarily difficult. There are only a few spots where one might put a hand on the rock for stability. The trails are meticulously maintained, well marked, yet deserted on a weekday morning. This route weaves in and out of multiple terrain and flora zones. We saw brazen deer and signs of bear. The June flowers were captivating: from giant yucca sprays to fields of monkey-flower, from lupin to phacelia, and many dozens I cannot name. Care must be taken in the shade as the abundant poison oak often invades the trail. Sturtevant Camp was peaceful, but there were too many mosquitos to stop and eat. My GPS recorded 10.7 mi, including Mt Zion, excluding the waterfall trail.

This trail is NOT 5.1 miles. It's more than 50 miles long and extends through most of the San Gabriel mountains. (Closely follows the PCT at some points) The section from the trailhead pick-up located on Angeles Crest Highway to Charlton Flats is probably what the 5.1 miles is meaning.

The hike is fairly easy and short but get there early because it shares a parking lot with a bunch of other hikes (including Mt. Wilson) and it will be full by 7am.
The falls themselves aren’t really that special and they get crowded I didn’t really care for all the graffiti. Kids will be cliff jumping, which I don’t recommend.
Not my favorite waterfall hike in the area but if you’re into jumping off of cliffs, it’s an option.

A good warm up trail for Mt Whitney training.

Load More