hermit falls

Hermit Falls is a popular attraction in Southern California. It is that other waterfall in the Big Santa Anita Canyon area near Arcadia and one of the favorite places for hikers, cliff-jumpers, swimmers etc. Hermit falls welcome you throughout the year with its amazing waterfall view and beautiful trail. It holds a few differences from the exciting Sturtevant Falls.

Hermit falls is on a quieter single-track trail. It seems to have more graffiti and a bit harder to reach. Hikers often like to combine hermit falls with most popular Santa Anita Canyon loop. You can even visit both Hermit and nearby Sturtevant falls for a day.


  • Amazing hiking destination.
  • Trailing with natural beauty.
  • A good place for cliff jumpers, swimmers and hikers.
  • Elevation gain about 400 feet.
  • Require adventure pass.

Hermit falls hiking

hermit falls

The route for hiking in hermit falls trail starts with the Chantry Flats parking area which is crowded most of the time. To cut off extra havoc while hiking here in a weekend get there as early as possible. There is also some spillover parking opportunity in a private lot at an additional cost.

After getting there

After parking, you need to show your Adventure Pass. Once you have done it, just head down into Santa Anita Canyon. Take along the same road to get to Sturtevant Falls.

Walk about 0.2 miles through the descending paved road. Continue walking till a sign at a switchback in the road found.  This sign marks the junction with the Hermit Falls Trail.

There is another way to decent toward Sturtevant Falls. This slightly longer descent. Though it gonna add some extra distances to your hike, it is less crowded and the scenic beauty will melt your heart.

the trail hangs a sharp switchback After the first quarter mile. It will also amaze you with a view of Santa Anita Canyon looking in the north.

You gonna find three more switchbacks on the way of slow descending of the trail. A vagarious landscape surrounds the trail. It holds lush oaks, black sage, and California sagebrush. Large swaths of ferns growing along the canyon walls are waiting in the cooler, shadier sections of the trail. Most People supposed to see it while hiking in Southern California. White sage is waiting in the sunnier portions for you.

What more to expect?

You will see larger and more majestic trees with a much denser canopy at closer to the bottom of Santa Anita Canyon. After reaching the 0.75-mile mark, a quick turn is taken by the trail. It is so because you need to avoid walking backyards of the historic cabins that head downs to Santa Anita Creek.

Get along with the actual trail on the other side rather than taking a use-trail. The use-trail seems like it heads down with the flow of water to the canyon on its western bank. Hopping to the eastern bank you gonna see the trail rising above one of the flood control dams in the canyon.

You gonna find the trail trends downward following the canyon and occasionally hopping across the creek for the next half mile. A few extremely idyllic-looking homesteads you will pass along the way though they are not as much as in the upper reaches.

At the 1.3 mile mark finally approaches the top of Hermit Falls hugging a narrow ledge on the canyon’s side. Even without seeing you will hear the sound of water rushing down its granite face.

Jumping into the waterfall

hermit-falls-1After finishing hiking hermit falls trail, you may like to jump off of this waterfall. Most people like it into the larger pool at its base. Like Sturtevant Falls, water flows through a few smaller pools before making its big cascade in Hermit falls. This area faces a lot of graffiti and vandalism as it is not well-trafficked as Sturtevant.

The problem of vandalism needed to clean up. You can ask the crew for that. This part of Santa Anita Canyon still remains in the Angeles National Forest. Secured funding is necessary to expand the protected area though it will take time as unfortunately this part is not declared under the funding of the new San Gabriel National Monument.

Hermit falls Trails

hermit-falls-2The official trail heading to hermit falls is well-maintained. It is a popular destination too. But, you need to take unofficial use-trails if you think to hike down to the base of Hermit Falls. You need to take it at your own risk and effort.

Camping in hermit falls

Hermit falls 3Along the Santa Anita Canyon trails There are several free walk-in campgrounds for backpackers for rental. Cabins at Camp Sturtevant are also available. If you want, you can even have your gear trailed in on a mule train. An additional fee is required.

How to get there?

To go to the hermit falls from the 210 toward Acadia you should take the Santa Anita exit. Until it reaches Chantry Flats keep on Santa Anita Canyon Road. Show your adventure pass if you can find a parking spot there. Even you have the pass; you need to pay ten bucks as parking overflow is very common at the Pack Station.

How to get an adventure pass?

Adventure passIn general, the adventure pass is a recreation pass. It is mainly necessary for visitors using the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino National Forests.  The visitors can purchase either a day pass or annual pass. The day pass will cost $5 while the annual pass will cost $30. The adventure pass will be displayed on the visitor’s vehicle.

Where you can purchase the Adventure Pass?

An Adventure Pass is available at any Ranger Station or at many Sporting Goods Stores. You can purchase it from there.  For more information to purchase the Adventure Pass please follow the link Adventure Pass.

When and where you need an adventure pass?

You need an adventure pass on your vehicle to display while parking on the forest or other recreational purposes.  You don’t need to display it or show it while you are traveling through the Forest without stopping.

Best Time to Hike the Hermit Falls

hermit falls 4Best Time to Hike the Hermit Falls Trail the Hermit Falls Trail. But the lush vegetation adds extra beauty in spring and summer months. It increases the aesthetic appeal of the area.

In winter and fall is the good time for hiking this trail if you are one of the peace lovers and dive-bombing cliff jumpers.

Hermit Falls Trails Tips

hermit falls 5

  • Take extreme care of rock sections after heavy rainfall while hiking this trail.
  • Try most to stay on the established trail. Losing the trail can make you slip and cause serious injury.
  • Don’t do cliff diving at lower water levels.

Suggested Stuff List

You need some accessories for hiking the trail. Along with the hiking shoes you will need:

  • Sunscreen and sunhat
  • Towel and Snacks
  • Pure drinking water
  • Swimming costume
  • Trekking Poles
  • First aid kits.

Visiting Tips for you

  • You can combine a trip to the San Gabriel Mountains include Fish Canyon Falls, Switzer Falls, Millard Falls and Monrovia Falls.
  • You can combine a hike to Sturtevant Falls or on other trails in the area, such as the Santa Anita Canyon Loop with visiting hermit falls.
  • At Hoegee’s Campground, Sturtevant Camp or Spruce Grove Campground camping is available
  • You can keep Dogs with you on the hike to Hermit Falls

So, what are you thinking off? Land your boot on the Hermit Falls in your next trip. You can enjoy more by combining the visit with more hiking areas.


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