Sturtevant Falls

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  • theessentials_masa_t
    Hiking
Easy, 3.4-mile round-trip, 500-foot elevation gain

Like many hikes in the Front Range—the canyons and ridges that plunge into the city’s margins—this three-mile jaunt above Arcadia will take you into the wild in a flash. The tree cover, shallow pools, and gentle grades make it a good stroll for the kids and the dog. The hike begins where the chaparral has given way to oaks and big cone Douglas firs. A sharp but short descent on a paved road into Santa Anita Canyon settles into an easy grade, ambling alongside the year-round creek. You may see the donkey-pack train that brings supplies to the 80 or so stone-and-wood private cabins that cling to the canyon walls, some dating from the early 20th century. In spring butterflies—California Sisters, Painted Ladies, and tiny, iridescent Blues—flit around the puddles looking for a drink. After a mile and a half, the path enters the creek. Hop across some boulders, and there it is: A sheer, white granite wall rears in the sun, with a 60-foot waterfall trickling (or roaring, if it has rained) down its center. View map.

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