Sturtevant Falls is 3.4 mile out and back hike to a 50 foot waterfall in the Big Santa Anita Canyon area of Chantry Flats. The waterfall ranges from a beautiful high volume waterfall in good rain years to a trickle or bone dry conditions in the hot weather months. The route to the falls includes an upside down paved fire road, a broad dirt trail and scenic hiking with a couple stream crossings.
Distance: 3.75 miles out and back
Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
From the 210 freeway in Arcadia, exit on Santa Anita Ave and drive north toward the foothills till Santa Anita Ave becomes Chantry Flat Rd. Drive pass a vehicle gate for about 3 miles to the Chantry Flat Parking Lot and Trailhead. The parking lot is generally open from 6am to 8pm, but you might want to contact the Forest Service at 626-574-5200 or the Sierra Madre Police Department at 626-355-1414 for the current status.
Sturtevant Falls Hike Description
The first 0.6 mile of the hike to Sturtevant Falls is down a steep paved asphalt trail that takes you from the parking lot to a nice foot bridge over Winter Creek. This is the upside down portion of the hike, meaning you have to hike back up the steep trail at the end of your hike.
There is a dirt clearing just past the bridge with a pit toilet and signs pointing in different directions. The Winter Creek Trail is on the left and the continuation of the Gabrieleno Trail is on the right. There is also a trail leading down to Hermit Falls, another upside down hike, but to get to Sturtevant Falls, you will stay on the Gabrieleno Trail.
Follow the trail to a four way junction at about 1.4 miles and take the right fork past Fiddler’s Crossing. It’s about 0.3 mile to Sturtevant Falls from there.
During good rain years, the Big Santa Anita Creek may have a good water flow requiring you to cross the stream three times before you reach the falls. You can step across on boulders but you still have to watch your step as it can be slippery. When there is plenty of water, Sturtevant Falls can be even more impressive than Fish Canyon Falls and certainly more impressive than Monrovia Canyon Falls.
In the dry weather months, you may find the creek and the waterfall dry. Dry or not, this portion of the trail is very scenic and picturesque. So even if you don’t see a waterfall, it’s still a good hike. Once you’ve reached the waterfall location, you can take a nice break in the shade before returning the way you came.
For additional details and perspectives about the Sturtevant Falls hike, check out the trail write-ups featured in the following blogs: