There are two main routes to Mount Wilson from Chantry. The route via Winter Creek is 6 miles one way with an elevation gain of 3,600 feet. The route via Sturtevant Camp is about 7.5 one way (8 miles if you stop by Sturtevant Camp) and 3,900 feet of elevation gain. The best time to climb is November through June. In winter some of the trail can be under snow in the shaded areas. It is hard to believe that such beauty can be found just minutes away from the city. It is also a great conditioning hike.
From the 210 freeway exit on Santa Anita Avenue and drive 6 miles north to Chantry Flats.
Route DescriptionVia Winter Creek
Go up to the ranger station and walk up a fire road about 50 feet to the left of it. At a quater mile, take the Sturtevant Trail. After 1.5 miles, you will find a junction with a sign. Take the "Mount Wilson" path indicated by the sign. After two miles you will connect with the Old Mt. Wilson Trail. It will connect you to the Mt Wilson Toll Road. Take the road to the summit.
Via Sturtevant Camp
This route is longer but more scenic and in the shade for most of the hike.
Hike past the locked gate - down the fire road next to the entrance of Chantry. This road descends into Big Santa Anita Canyon. Cross the Winter Creek Bridge and continue on the main trail passing lots of small cabins. After about a mile you will see a three way junction with a sign. Take the trail on the left to Mount Wilson. You can also visit Sturtevant Falls by following the path to the right for about a 1/4 of a mile. Continue on the trail until you reach another junction about 2 miles. Here you can continue on a trail to Sturtevant Camp and then continue to Mount Wilson or you can take a direct trail to Mount Wilson (this path is to the left and faint - cross the creek and you will find a trail that will bypass the camp and take you directly to Wilson). No more forks from here on. You will find a sign 1.5 miles from the camp - this is a good spot to rest. You now have 1.5 miles to go to the observatory.
Plenty of water and the 10 essentials...