First Water Trail, Sierra Madre

Jul 10, 2011

2 to 9.5 miles round trip; easy to moderately strenuous

Alternate: Chantry Flat & Sturtevant Falls

One of the few Angeles trails left untouched by the 2009 Station Fires, this hike offers shade to the weary traveler during the hot summer months of July and August. For an easy hike, make your way down the sunny paved path and across the bridge. Take the first right to First Water. Throughout the canyon are cascading falls (including 50-foot Sturtevant Falls) and pools that flow steadily year round. Rustic cabins are scattered throughout the forest, giving a feeling of enchantment.

If you have another hour or two, head back to the bridge and choose from any of the seven other trailheads of the Big Santa Anita Canyon loop or head back up the mountain to the Hermit Falls trail.

Don’t forget to purchase an Adventure Pass ($5 at Adam’s Pack Station just above the parking lot). The lot is on the small side, so be prepared to find parking along the mountain. Mosquitos love this area as much as we do, so be sure to bring insect repellent.

Driving Directions: Exit Santa Anita from the 210 Freeway in Sierra Madre. Turn left on Santa Anita and drive north toward the mountains. Continue on Chantry Flats Rd for about 2 miles to the parking lot and trail head.

Hiking Directions: From the parking lot you’ll see a wide trailhead to your left. Take the trail down into the canyon and across the bridge. You’ll see signs pointing to First Water and Sturtevant Falls, as well as six other trails.



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