Walk Distance: 2.2 km / 1.4 miles
Walk Duration: 1hr 15 at toddler pace, with plenty of time for admiring the llamas!
Map: Tom Harrison Maps – Mt. Wilson
Suitable for: Babies in carriers, all-terrain strollers (for those ready for an uphill push), good little walkers and older children.
Walk Features: Great mountain and city views, plenty of shade, forest, picnic tables and grills, public restroom, shop/cafe, animals (llamas/goats). N.b. this hike is in black bear country – don’t let it stop you but be bear aware!
” This is a super-short, simple but sweet hike that feels far removed from the city and is mainly in the shade. The Chanty Flat Heliport Hike offers great views of the San Gabriel Valley and even, on clear days, down to the ocean, for just a little uphill. It is possible to extend your hike, should you wish.
Chantry Flat is home to Adams’ Pack Station – the last pack station in Southern California. The kids love stopping off to say hello to the llamas, goats and donkeys and on summer Sunday afternoons you can often find live music here. The hiking trail is paved as far as the heliport so you can get a cross-country stroller up here, so long as you have the energy to push it uphill! Those venturing beyond the heliport should be aware it is a dirt fire road. Get here early on a weekend for parking. “
The Chantry Flat Heliport Hike starts from the main public parking lot at Chantry Flat Recreation Area. Here you will find restrooms, information boards and Adams’ Pack shop and cafe (Friday, Saturday & Sunday – check before you go).
Follow signs towards the Upper Winter Trail, starting the hike by following the San Olene Fire Road – a paved road that leads uphill by the picnic area, to the left of the Forest Service buildings.
The trail winds its way up on the shady, paved road past a llama enclosure, past the turn off for the Upper Winter Trail (ignore and continue on paved surface) before eventually emerging from the trees at the helipad.
This is a fun spot to admire the views over the surrounding mountains and city below (you can see right down to the ocean on a clear day), take a snack break and for some obligatory imaginary helicopter play for the littlest hikers! As with all local mountain walks, please keep a careful eye on small children near edges.
From here, those looking for a longer hike can continue on the San Olene Fire Road – the wide dirt track leaving behind the heliport.
For others, retrace your steps on the short hike back down to the Chantry Flat parking lot. There is a lovely shady picnic area with bbq grills and don’t forget to go and say hello to the goats and other livestock and check out the goodies in the store at Adams’ Pack Station -just off the main parking lot.
Map of Route:
Chantry Flat Road, which winds steeply uphill to the parking lot for Chantry Flat Recreation Area, can be found at the end of N. Santa Anita Avenue – just a 5 minute drive from the 210 freeway. Follow N. Santa Anita Avenue towards the mountains and then continue on the access road (open 6am – 8pm) for three miles until you reach the Chantry Flat parking lot.
To park at Chantry Flat Recreation Area parking lot you will need an Adventure Pass. These can be purchased from Adams’ Pack Station general store during opening hours or from one of these vendors. Alternatively you can pay a one-time fee ($5 at time of writing) to park in the Adams’ Pack Station private parking lot. Be aware that parking gets very busy at the weekends, so make sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment.
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