Big Santa Anita Creek comes alive after recent storms. 55′ high Sturtevant Falls is back in its’ former glory as well! As we all know, years of drought have taken their toll throughout the southwest, especially in the myriad of canyons throughout the mountains of Southern California.
Joanie and I discovered 9.57″ of rain in our gauge at Fern Lodge on January 18th. Several storms, back to back, have made a huge difference in the appearance of not only the Big Santa Anita creek, but all the rest of the front country streams in the Angeles. A week later, we hiked up and past Sturtevant Falls where we took these two photos.
As of today, February 10th, a lot more rain has fallen. The stream beds have been scoured of the dark organic mat that’s built up for years. This has left bright, colorful sands and rocks under the clear waters. Beautiful.
Yesterday, I headed up Heath Creek and got a quick snowshoe in to the upper gate. Only went about a mile up from Thrush Rd. However, it’s about 460′ of gain. It’s been so long since we’ve had this kind of snow. Forgot how much of a chug it would be with snowshoes on – ha! Good times.
Elevation Gain / Loss:
From the lower gate (just above Thrush Rd.) to upper gate = 460′. The elevation on Thrush Rd. at spot where you walk up the beginning of levee road is 5,840′. This gain takes place in approximately one mile along the levee road located on west side of Heath Creek. Elevation of upper gate is 6,300′.
If you have time, keep on going past the upper gate. Soon you’ll encounter some sawn log benches placed in a square configuration. Keep going further up along the stream bed on the old, steeply rutted jeep road which is in places barely a trace. It’s steeper going now than it was on the levee road between the two gates.
From upper gate to top end of old jeep road (abandoned) =400′. The top end of old road is where two canyons come together. There’s a forested canyon on the left side and small stream running between jagged walls on the right. The elevation here is 6,700′. Look for the little framework of limbs that have been lashed to some upright hand-hewn cedar poles.