Thursday, March 28, 2013
Hike 2013.015 -- Sturtevant Falls
Hiked Monday, March 25. For the first time in about two months, I've finally caught up on my hiking blog. Did this one on Monday, and won't be able to hike again until Saturday evening. So, for about 48 hours, I'm caught up.
I was surprised to discover that I hadn't hiked Sturtevant Falls so far this year. In fact, the last time I hiked out of Chantry was September 1, 2012; the last time I was at Sturtevant Falls was August 21, 2012. Amazing!
The trail to Sturtevant starts at Chantry Flat, which is at the top of Santa Anita Avenue. You can take the Foothill Freeway, I-210 to Santa Anita and head north about five miles, until the road ends at Chantry.
From the lower parking lot, walk back towards the road you just came in on, then turn sharply to the left when you pass the restroom. You follow the paved road steeply down to the Winter Creek Crossing, where you'll see a sign indicating the distances: about 1/2 mile back up to where you started, and 1 1/2 miles to the waterfall.
Pretty hard to get lost: Just stay on the main trail, which largely parallels Sturtevant Creek.
There's one stream crossing at Fiddler's Crossing, and one or two more as you approach the actual water fall. On either side of the creek you are walking are numerous cabins. Along the creek bottom are three or four check dams, designed to slow the water and the erosion.
Growing on the bottom of the canyon are a whole lot of Periwinkle, as well as some more natural-appearing plants. There's also a lot of alder, a fair amount of sycamore, and assorted other trees and shrubs.
The waterfall itself is quite tall, substantially taller than Eaton Canyon falls. I've heard 50 feet, and occasionally numbers slightly larger and slightly smaller than that. Because it's got a pretty large drainage, I'm pretty sure there's almost always a flow. On the day I hiked, however, it wasn't running very strongly, considering this is only late March.
Given this was a weekend afternoon, I was expecting it to be pretty empty, but there were still a lot of hikers here (definitely more than when I walked in the fall). There was a boisterous family playing in the pool at the base of the falls, so it was not very tranquil. Still, it was a walk in the forest, and that's always nice, even if the destination was not as peaceful as typical for a weekday.
About 4 miles for the day.