Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chantry Flats to Spruce Grove

Located in the Angeles National Forest around Sierra Madre, Chantry Flats is a very popular trail through Big Santa Anita Canyon. So popular, in fact, that it's best done on a weekday, when parking at the limited lot at the ranger station trail head isn't at a premium.

The trail begins steeply downhill--not our favorite--on a paved stretch that ends at Roberts Camp, where it becomes a lovely, shady stroll under a thick tree canopy of oak, sprice and alder. It's a short hike (less than a mile and a half) to the 50-foot Sturdevant Falls, and you'll pass several of the still-occupied cabins built between the 1890s and 1920s. The cabins and the sheer number of people, dogs and strollers on the trail detract from the serenity, but it's still hard to believe such an a sylvan area remains so close to the cities of Sierra Madre and Arcadia.

The falls are named for Wilbur Sturdevant, who built a resort near the spot in the 1890s, and it's possible to see the stone foundation remains of the Fern Dell resort nearby. Near the falls the trail  forks into two parts of the Gabrielino Trail; one direction climbs above the falls and the other bypasses them. Either one will lead you to Spruce Grove campground (3 miles). The crowds thin out considerably once you're past the falls, and it's possible to walk the entire distance to Spruce Grove in cool, water-tinged shade.

Other than the scores of people who are hiking beside you, the worst part of the trail is the long walk back up the canyon to the car. Unless you had to park way down from the ranger station, which adds another mile to your trek.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Find Us on Flickr!

We have just published some of our travel photos on the photo site Flickr. We picked through hundreds of images and organized them into "sets," or groups. Our sets include photos of Alaska, Utah, local hikes, and California's deserts and beaches.

Find us at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Save 40% at Our Etsy Shop!

To celebrate Valentine's Day this month, we're offering 40% off any item in our Etsy shop. Choose from a number of our beautiful greeting cards featuring nature scenes of the mountains, the desert or the sea.

Our cards come in packs of 8 with matching envelope and are professionally printed onto recycled paper stock. Each card is blank inside and suitable for any occasion. They make great gifts and are priced at only $8.00!

Use coupon code SWEETHEARTS at checkout for your discount.