Los Angeles Hiking: The Santa Ana Canyon Loop
The drive to Arcadia took an hour and change but the last leg up the winding mountaintop was absolutely breathtaking. The rolling hills and deep ravines reminded me of a forested Grand Canyon.
There is absolutely no adequate parking. Ever. But drive to the convenience store and purchase your 5 dollar parking pass then pray for someone to leave. Worst comes to worst begin driving back down and park along the winding road. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of parked cars, the trail is wide enough to accommodate all of these hikers!
The trail begins on pavement for nearly the first mile. You will see a marker to go right towards a dirt path. Don’t be tricked, keep on the pavement towards ‘Sturtevant Falls’. This is the 50 foot waterfall you came to see – and the hike will only rack you up 3 miles and change, but there are plenty of add on trails that can bring you closer to a 10 mile hike. The trail will switch off pavement after the initial descent and you’ll follow the streaming river to the beautiful waterfall and pool.
The trek down is fairly easy, but don’t forget you have to come back up at some point. The add on hikes can be much more steep if you need the extra challenge. While there are plenty of additional trails located near the waterfall, a nice option is to hike back up the paved trail and decide at the top if you would like to add on the dirt path I mentioned earlier. This trail will bring you down to a small pool perfect for taking a dip or enjoying a picnic and adds on another 2 miles.
DOG FRIENDLY. They should be on the leash, but I left the Golden off-leash and no one seemed to mind (aside from when he shook himself dry next to a picnic-ing family)
CAMPING. There are cabins doting the trail, which can be rented out for camping. Seems a little to Blair Witch Project for me, but might be nice for a big group to rent a few adjacent campsites.