Plenty of hikers in Big Santa Anita Canyon make the trek to Sturtevant Falls, but fewer head to the area’s Hermit Falls in Angeles National Forest. This 3-mile (round-trip) hike begins at the lower Chantry Flats lot (display Adventure Pass) or the upper Adams’ Pack Station lot ($5 donation). Head down the steep paved trail into the canyon towards uber-popular Sturtevant Falls, and take the first dirt trail junction on your right towards Hermit Falls. The trail descends rather quickly via switchbacks amid canyon walls vibrant with lush green ferns.
After nearly a mile, you’ll encounter some antique cabins, and your first stream crossing! Continuing downstream in the beautifully shaded canyon, you will need to boulder hop and log walk across the flowing creek a few more times, so waterproof boots are recommended. At about the 1.5-mile mark, the path narrows as it leads into the rocky outcropping surrounding the three-tiered cascade, storming loudly and awesomely 30 feet over the sheer granite cliff. Take a break and savor the flow. You’ll need some energy for the 700-foot climb back up the canyon.
To get to the Chantry Flats parking area, take the I-210 and exit Santa Anita Ave. north. After 2 miles the road turns into Chantry Flat Rd. and guides you 3.5 miles up the mountain to the lot and trailhead. Dog-friendly!