Last Sunday [11.16.14] my roomy invited me to go hiking with some friends to Chantry Flat. It ended up being a couples thing…. & then there was me. I was 7th wheel. But I really don’t mind. It’s nice that people don’t exclude you just cause you fly solo.
Anyways, we did the Hermit Falls trail (1.2 miles each way) and then we took the Gabrielino Trail to Sturtevant Falls (1.85 miles each way). When you get closer, the trail splits to an option of the Lower Trail which leads to the top of the falls! This is the path we took.
We set out for hiking around 11:45 am. Chantry Flat is in the Sierra Madre mountains of the San Gabriel area. This is the closest mountain to where we lived in San Gabriel Valley so we got the annual parking pass last time ($30). You do need an adventure pass to park up there, but one-day passes are just $5. We lucked out with parking right away, but parking is usually very difficult. By the time we got on the trail, it was 12:40 pm. It starts on a pavement going down – coming up this at the end is the most brutal part of the entire hike.
- Hermit Falls: This trail is narrow and just a bit steep. You go all the way down, then flat ground for a little bit, then back up before reaching the end. The water level was seriously low. There were very few people hiking this trail and not a single person jumped. Some people climbed down though.
- Finished around 1:45 pm… then onwards to the top of the falls trail! One couple dropped out by now so I was 5th wheel.
- Gabrielino/ Sturtevant Falls Trail: This trail is much wider and not very steep.
- Lower Trail of the Gabrielino Trail: When we got to the sign to embark on this, another couple dropped out so I was now 3rd wheel. You go up the whole way, literally until you get to the top of the waterfall. I’ve said it before but I’m scared of heights and the ledge can get narrow and high enough to freak me out. When we got closer to the top, I basically kept one hand against the side and tried not to look down… except at my feet.. gotta make sure I don’t go tripping on anything! Now that would be dangerous…
- Top of Sturtevant Falls! We went down to this rock with a nice view of the top of the trickling waterfall, but there were boulders that blocked off part of it so we didn’t see the water falling and how high we were. This is a good spot to just relax and enjoy nature… like you’re in your own little world. There is also a way to drop down to the waterfall on from the trail going up but it’s dangerous and I wouldn’t recommend it.
- The entire hike took us roughly 3 hours, 6+ miles. It was nice exploring something new that doesn’t totally kick your butt. I’d say the hike was fairly easy except that last pavement stretch up really sucked. Definitely felt that the next day.