The Angeles National Forest is full of waterfall hikes. Some of them are closed due to the 2009 fires, but the Sturtevant Falls hike in Arcadia is open and busy. We went with our hiking buddies Mike and Michelle on Saturday at around 3 pm. There were cars parked here and there on the street for a mile before the parking lot, but we drove to the lot and luckily found a spot (booya!). Note that you need a National Forest Adventure Pass to park here. Annual passes are $30 and can be found at REI, Adventure 16 or online. Additional passes are only $5, and daily passes are $10.
From the parking lot entrance, look for a sign that directs you downhill to the Gabrielino Trail. Follow this trail to the waterfall. It's a easy, well maintained, shady, out-and-back hike that is 3.7 miles long.
The hike starts on a paved path and descends into the canyon. It soon turns into a dirt path that follows the river and passes many old cabins. After rock hopping across the river about three times, you will reach the powerful Sturtevant falls. Its cool spray will make you shiver even on a hot Saturday. The trail is easy to follow--there are signs to point you in the right direction.
As you return the way you came, you will hike the last 3/4 of a mile or so uphill. It is the most tiring part of the hike, but not too bad. There were a lot of people young and old hiking to the falls.
After we finished the hike, we rewarded ourselves with gelato from Bulgarini Gelato in Altadena. Pistachio + salty chocolate + goat milk and cocoa nibs = the perfect post-hike pick me up!
Have you been to Sturtevant Falls? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!
Brad took the first opportunity to get his feet wet.
Mike and Brad chose to get their feet wet, while us girls opted to keep them dry.