Big Santa Anita Loop Backpacking

Arcadia, California 91006

Big Santa Anita Loop Backpacking

Big Santa Anita Loop (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide

"In the lush and shady recesses of the Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains you can easily lose all sight and sense of the hundreds of square miles of dense metropolis, and the millions of Angelenos, that lie just over the ridge to the south. With easy access from the San Gabriel Valley by city street and mountain road, you can be laying bootprints down a fern-lined path less than half an hour after leaving the freeway traffic behind."

Big Santa Anita Loop (Backpacking) Reviews

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2/4/2013
Great trail and views, weather perfect during this time of year mid 40's at night to high 60's during the day. Only met day hikers no over nighters at both campsites so had the whole place to myself. Easy going as the majority of the trail is shaded and at this time of the year stays nice and cool. Plenty of water (treat before drinking) along the way so never ran dry. In all, a great trip and highly recommended if your in the area.
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7/30/2008
My group did this July 26-27, expecting extraordinary heat and no water in the river. The weather turned out to be perfect, and there was enough water to completely submerge in a couple shallow pools. The environment is a great combination of chaparral and forest. The hike is a SUPER narrow descent into a canyon (never backpacked anything quite like this 1foot-across switchback trail. The campsite in the canyon is wide and open, with a couple of trees for shade. Hiking further down the empty (in late july) river bed becomes a fun and hairy rock hop adventure searching for rock markers set up by previous kind hikers. We never made it to the falls (it was getting late), but the hike was a blast. DO NOT FORGET BUG SPRAY. we got chewed alive. and keep a wary eye for poison oak. There is a ton. These two factors should not dissuade you from the hike. Bring bug spray, make a fire at the campsite pit (smoke keeps skeeters away), and know your poison oak. Definitely plan to do this trail again.
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6/28/2008
THE TRAIL WAS NICE AND HOT. STARED AT 9:15 AM AND WENT WELL PASSED THE CAMP SITE MARKED AT 2.7 MILES. THERE WERE A COUPLE OF PATHS ONE CAN CHOOSE FROM AS WELL. THE TRAIL WAS ALSO VERY NARROW AT POINTS AND I RECOMMEND WEARING PANTS.WE ENDED UP BACK AT THE TRUCK AT AROUND 3:00PM. THE EXPERIANCE WAS AWSOME AND FUN FILLED KNOWING YOU ARE JUST MILES AWAY FROM A MAJOR FREEWAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. WATCH OUT FOR THOSE GNATS, THEY SUCK!
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4/12/2008
Hiked with Wife and Dog on 4-12-08. Trail was in very good shape. Hiked to Campground and back out. Took roughly 4 hours with about 30mins at camp. Very nice with the exception of hot weather in canyon. Worth doing again, but only in cooler weather.
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8/25/2007
This Trail is in bad shape. several spots along the trail down to the camp site need to be recut as the trail has simply decomposed. Poison Oak is, in some places, overgrown and difficult to avoid while walking. the only water left is pools of green stagnant water. the campsite is littered with trash and the trail actually requires bouldering to get down passed the camp site where it almost dead ends into debris piles that are both far from the end and somewhat unsafe to traverse. Not a place to take inexperienced hikers with the current conditions. Aside from the challenges we faced, the are had some beautiful spots and great views coming in and out. more info can be found at www.socaltrailblazers.com
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5/28/2007
Excellent hike, very beautiful but be aware and prepared. My good friend that went on this hike with me contracted lymes disease. very rare occurance but they are out there. so be careful!
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2/19/2007
This is an excellent one night backpack. It is true that it is down hill going in and up hill coming out, but don't be daunted by day 2. It's not as bad as the books make it out to be. I took this with my 10 year old son and dog and we even packed in extra gear because of the short distance with no problems or complaints. The camp area doesn't have many sites, but the few that are there were great. One even has a nice fire pit. The camp area is a great place for kids to explore with lots of big rocks to climb and lots of water for making you wish you had brought more clothes than you did. This is a dog paradise as well, but make sure you have tick collars or medication as I always find lots of extra friends on my dog after a hike in the San Gabriels. The down side is that the waterfall is 2 miles further and after you get to the camp and unpack you may not want to continue on. For first timers in the area...there is a Chilao Rd. and Caltrans station that may confuse you as you get near the trail. Continue a little bit further and you will find Devils Canyon entrance on the right and a parking lot with bathroom on the left. Chilao Flats is a few hundred yards further. We saw only 3 other hikers on our trip. This is a great wilderness quick qet away.
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Big Santa Anita Loop (Backpacking) Photos

Trail Information

Arcadia
Nearby City
9.4
Distance
2,100 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
2 days
Duration
Fall, winter, and spring
Season
Angeles National Forest - permit required
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-min. Mount Wilson
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018