Sturtevant Falls - Angeles National Forest

With the recent rain in Southern California, all the local waterfalls are finally refreshed! Amazing, right? I couldn't miss an opportunity like this, so a friend and I went to check out one of many - Sturtevant Falls just NE of Pasadena.

This is my first post, so I'll use it to showcase my style and to educate about this hike. As a designer & artist, my brain works visually. My photos are intended to tell the story, while I add in helpful tips and key points that I would have liked to have known before taking the trek.
Something I have run into a few times in Southern California on hikes is the 'Adventure Pass.' Before this hike, I had never purchased one (oops!) but didn't want to chance the ticket this time.

An early morning, I was up before 5 AM - yes I can't believe it still - to drive about an hour to the parking lot. At 6:30 - the lot was FULL! Granted, this was a beautiful Saturday morning and the trailhead spread to a bunch of hikes.

We ended up having to park in one of the pull-offs on the way up to the parking lot instead of at the top. We made the mistake of going all the way up to the lot and coming back to find parking. A huge tip would be to buy the adventure pass at the top and then find parking - saves the walk up from the car twice.

A few years ago, for my birthday,I hiked (and jumped into the pools) Hermit Falls - it was definitely a lot of fun. I can't speak to the condition of the area now, but with more rain, I am sure there's more water! Just be safe, as always, if you're going to cliff jump. Mt. Wilson is on my list for this year as part of the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge!

The hike itself wasn't strenuous or long (my phone said about 5.4 miles total walking for us) - the hardest part for me was actually the very end. At the trailhead, it's a fairly steep downgrade, so once you're on the way back up to the parking lot, it's all uphill. Make sure you have water! If it's a hot day, which most days are here, you'll need it for this stretch especially.

I tend to seek out waterfall hikes and one of my favorite part of a lot of these hikes is following a stream - it's comforting. The sound of water feels safe - like if you were to get lost, you could always find your way back.


After roughly 2.5 miles we hit the main attraction - Sturtevant Falls! I always pack a ton of snacks and lots of water. It's nice to enjoy the waterfall for a while, rather than just coming and going.

Even when hikes aren't a loop, there's always so much to see that's different. On the way in, we noticed a few logs across the stream and planned on coming back to one of them to snap a few photos. On the way back, we totally missed them! We ended up backtracking slightly just to look for it, but it's so funny how the scene can be completely different from either direction.

Along the trail, there are a couple inspirational signs - like the one above. It's a nice reminder (especially after getting up before the sun) why you got outside or why you love the outdoors. Maybe you're not someone who relates to this, but I am sure it resonates with a few people out on the trails every day.

If you have any questions about this hike or any in the area - will your car make it up? If you're allergic to goats, should you go? - I am open to help answer those questions! I am learning how to share my photos with my love for hiking and traveling and if there's anything else that would be helpful, let me know!

Here are a few links I checked out before taking this hike: