Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Falls and Spruce Grove Trail Camp

San Gabriel Wilderness North of Arcadia and Sierra Madre

Saturday, November 9, 1991

Brief: EASY AND MODERATE DAY HIKE. Be at the Gabrielino National Recreation Trail sign by 10:00 AM. Allow 90 minutes driving time from the South Bay.

Statistics: Sturtevant Falls - EASY ; 3 miles round trip; 500’ elevation gain.

Spruce Grove Trail Camp - MODERATE; 8 miles (includes Sturtevant Falls) round trip; 1400' elevation gain.

Reference: John W. Robinson, Trails of the Angeles.

Hike #41, Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Falls. "Although there are many cascades and small water drops in Big Santa Anita, Sturtevant Falls is the only real waterfall in the canyon. Its silver spray plunges fifty feet into a shallow, rock-ribbed pool, shaded by alders and oaks. Enroute you pass through a beautiful grove of oaks and ferns at the site of old Fern Lodge. In spring, there are fine displays of wildflowers, particularly prickly phlox and sticky monkey flower.

Hike #42, Chantry Flat to Spruce Grove Trail Camp. "Big Santa Anita Canyon is one of the most beautiful wooded glens in the San Gabriels, a favorite sylvan retreat for nature-lovers, hikers and campers. Under its spreading evergreens, the musical waters of Big Santa Anita Creek reveal a delightful diversity of moods - now dancing merrily over pebble-strewn floor, then pausing in limpid pool, only to plunge headlong over waterfall and cascade to begin a new cycle. Along the banks sprout regal woodwardia, dotted here and there in springtime with clusters of lupine, larkspur and other flowering herbs, all contributing to nature’s soft picture of elegance."

(This time of year we found an abundance of dried flowers, as well as some red and yellow leaves.)

Trail Description

Sturtevant Falls: "Take the Gabrielino Trail, which descends from the entrance to Chantry Flat into Big Santa Anita Canyon. Cross the Winter Creek Bridge and walk up the broad canyon trail, passing numerous private cabins, to a three-way trail junction. Continue straight ahead. You ford Big Santa Anita Creek in 200 yards, then reford where the canyon makes a sharp bend leftward. Scramble over boulders the last 100 yards to the large pool at the foot of the falls. Return the way you came.

Spruce Grove Trail Camp: The easy and moderate group will hike together until the following: "...straight ahead to Sturtevant Falls, left and then sharp right up the slope to climb above the falls into the middle canyon, and sharp left up the hillside to the upper canyon. Either of the latter two trails may be taken; they rejoin in a mile. ...you will reach Cascade Picnic Area...Continue up the trail as it climbs the east clope, then drops to ford the creek and ascends to Spruce Grove Trail Camp. There are stoves and tables here, the only place in the canyon where you can legally camp. Return the way you came."

Bring: 10 essentials. including at least 2 qts. water per person and a lunch to picnic -- moderate group at Spruce Grove and easy group either at the falls or at Chantry Flat, where there are stoves, tables and water. Light boots are suggested; trail is rocky in places.

Driving Directions: From the South Bay, take the 110 north; 110 ends and becomes Arroyo Parkway; follow 210E signs; RIGHT at Green Street;then an immediate LEFT onto Marengo Avenue; RIGHT at Corson Street onto 210E; drive five miles on the 210E; exit RIGHT at Santa Anita Avenue; turn LEFT at the light on Santa Anita Avenue; travel 1.7 miles to park entrance, another 3 miles to the parking lot and Gabrielino National Recreation Trail, which descends to Chantry Flat.

Car Pooling: Parking can be a problem, so suggest we carpool from the Xerox A&E parking lot--"C Lot East"--corner of Alaska and Aviation. We will need to leave at 8:30 am.

Topo Map: Mount Wilson

Leader: RSVP to Tom Irby by phone (213) 540-3724 or Blanche Irby via E-mail-- BIrby:ES AE or phone (213) 333-9283; both phones have answering devices.

Chantry Flat 911109