Mileages of Chantry Flat Trails

The following table gives all the mileage estimates that I was able to find for the Trails from Chantry Flat. In order to display all the information on one screen, the sources are numbered in the main table, with the key to the sources as follows:

Adopted6 MW TrailsCarterCarterImmlerSchadTopo!RobinsonRobinsonTrail SignsMckinneyPedometer (up)Pedometer (down)Pedometer (up)Pedometer (down)geocities/9842Washburne

The Trail column lists the trail segment in consideration, with the column labeled 1 containing the mileage I have adopted as the best estimate of the trail mileage. Subsequent columns give independent sources of mileage estimates, in my rough order of estimated accuracy.

6 MW Trails refers to the mileages published in the Map Six Historical Hiking Trails to Mt. Wilson, which were measured between November 1982 and February 1983.

Carter refers to measurements made by James S. Carter using his own bicycle wheel odometer that he pushed along the trails in 3/30/91 (the first column) and in 5/4/91 (the second column).

Immler refers to measurements made by Robert Immler's bicycle odometer in his 1987 book Mountain Bicycling in the San Gabriels. Although I have listed his column as being of an accuracy just behind the odometer measurements of Carter and 6 MW Trails, I have been forced to ignore some of his readings which simply don't agree with the other measurements. This is quite surprising to me, since a few spot checks of his other mileages agree precisely with mileages of my calibrated mountain bicycle. I have no idea why some of his mileages are off by so much.

Schad refers to estimates reported by Jerry Schad in the 2000 edition of Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles County. Schad is one of the most careful authors around, and generally has excellent accuracy in reported mileages.

Topo! refers to my measurements of the trails using the USGS topographic maps supplied in the Topo! Interactive Maps for the Los Angeles Area. In general, Topo! measurements are extremely accurate for roads and trails that are like roads in that they are well-approximated by short straight-line segments. However, Topo! measurements significantly underestimates trails that have curves or hairpin turns that occur within 0.026 mile segments.

Thus the underestimate for the Topo! mileages depends on the "curviness" of a trail. In this case, trails like the Mt. Zion Trail, with many switchbacks and a lot of small-scale curvature, will be badly underestimated by the Topo! software (2.00 miles vs. 2.60 miles, a 23% error). On the other hand, trails like the Gabrielino Trail from Chantry Flat to Sturtevant Jct. will be nearly correct (3.58 miles vs. 3.71 miles, a 4% error).

See Accuracy of Trail Mileages Deduced From Topo! Measurements of Chantry Flat Trails for more information.

Robinson refers to estimates reported by John Robinson in the 1998 edtion of Trails of the Angeles. Robinson in general reports mileages only to the nearest half-mile, so his numbers are not as precise as the previous ones. The two columns were needed to reflect different estimates given in different trip write-ups.

Trails Signs refer to mileages given on the Trail Signs observed on 11/25/00.

McKinney refers to mileages given in John McKinney's 1987 and 1989 Day Hiker's Guide to Southern California two-volume set.

Pedometer refers to mileages measured by two different pedometers of mine separated by uphill and downhill directions. The first two columns are from 11/25/00, and the second two columns are from 5/14/96. Mileages from 11/25/00 are biased a bit high, since Jane Strong and I often doubled back to look at plants.

geocities/9842 refers to mileages given on this webpage.

Washburne refers to mileages given on this webpage.

Sources for some individual measurements are given in notes following the table.

There are no "GPS Track" mileages estimates given here, since I have found that current GPS receivers and algorithms give even worse results than Topo! measurements for trails. See Accuracy of Tracks From a Garmin Etrex GPS Receiver.

If you know of any other sources of accurate mileages for these trails, please let me know.

Gabrielino: Chantry Flat to Lower Falls Jct1.391.381.39 1.501.401.44          
Gabrielino to First Water Trail0.21    0.200.21       0.24  
Gabrielino to Robert's Camp0.61 0.610.630.610.600.67  0.70   0.600.71  
First Water1.06     0.91          
Falls Trail0.30    0.300.23          
Gabrielino to Falls1.70   1.811.701.671.50 2.001.75      
Gabrielino: Lower Falls Trail (Lower to Upper Falls Jct)0.920.920.90  ~10.75~1         
Gabrielino: Upper Falls Trail (Lower to Upper Falls Jct)1.081.08   ~11.06~1         
Gabrielino: Upper Falls Jct to Sturtevant Jct.1.401.441.37  ~1.41.39    1.201.45    
Gabrielino from Upper Falls Jct to Cascade Picnic Area0.500.510.50   0.52          
Gabrielino from Upper Falls Jct to Spruce Grove Campground1.181.221.15   1.16          
Gabrielino: Sturtevant Jct to Newcomb Pass2.202.20  2.72 1.922.00   1.952.05   2.20
Sturtevant Trail3.103.10    2.66          
Gabrielino: jct Newcomb Trail to Sturtevant Camp0.06   0.10 0.08          
Gabrielino: jct Newcomb Trail to Zion Trail0.14     0.13          
Mt. Zion2.602.602.58  2.602.002.00         
Winter Creek Jct to Zion Saddle1.47 1.46   1.161.25  1.50  1.511.71  
Zion Saddle to Sturtevant Trail1.13 1.12   0.840.75  1.10      
Mt. Zion Spur0.11     0.080.25     0.110.14  
Lower Winter Creek1.801.82 1.77  1.71          
Robert's Camp to Hoegee's Camp1.461.50 1.42 1.501.48  1.50   1.591.79  
Robert's Camp to Zion Jct1.64  1.60  1.51  1.63   1.741.92  
Upper Winter Creek2.252.212.322.23 2.302.162.001.50        
San Olene Fire Road3.39    3.753.39          
Chantry Flat to Upper WC Jct0.38    0.300.380.25         
Upper Winter Creek, including distance from Chantry Flat2.632.592.77  2.602.54          
Gabrielino Trail from Chantry Flat to:                 
First Water Trail0.21    0.200.21       0.24  
Robert's Camp (Lower Winter Creek Jct)0.610.610.610.630.610.600.67  0.70   0.600.71  
Fern Lodge Jct (Lower Falls Jct)1.391.381.39 1.501.401.44          
Top of Falls on Lower Falls Trail1.67 1.67              
Sturtevant Falls1.69   1.811.701.671.50 2.001.75      
Falling Sign Jct (Upper Falls Jct)2.312.302.28   2.19    2.10     
Cascade Picnic Area2.812.812.78  2.802.71          
Spruce Grove Campground3.493.523.43  3.503.354.00 4.004.00      
Sturtevant Jct3.713.743.65  3.603.584.50   3.30    2.80
Camp Sturtevant3.773.843.69  3.803.66        4.00 
Zion Jct3.85 3.79  3.903.71          
"Halfway Rest"5.075.14   5.20           
Newcomb Pass5.915.94     6.50 5.10 5.25   6.00 
Echo Rock6.476.54   6.606.378.00         
Mt. Wilson Pavilion6.776.84   7.00           
Devore7.527.55     8.509.009.00       
West Fork Campground8.648.67     9.5010.0010.40       
San Olene Fire Road / Upper Winter Creek Trail from Chantry Flat to:                 
Upper Winter Creek Trailhead0.38    0.300.380.25         
San Olene Overlook1.021.00 1.04             
Lower Winter Creek Jct2.632.59 2.64 2.602.542.251.75        
Zion Jct.2.79     2.74  3.00       
Mt. Zion4.37     3.98  4.25       
Mt. Wilson Trail Jct4.974.93   5.00  3.75        
Sturtevant Jct (skipping Mt. Zion spur)5.39     4.74          
Mt. Wilson Toll Road Jct5.455.41   5.50  4.25        
Mt. Wilson entrance gate6.956.91     6.005.25        
Mt. Wilson Pavilion7.157.11   6.80           
Gabrielino / Lower Winter Creek Trail from Chantry Flat to:                 
Hoegee's Camp2.072.11 2.05  2.09  2.20       
Zion Jct.2.25  2.22  2.12  2.38       
Upper Winter Creek Jct.2.412.43 2.39  2.32          
Mt. Zion3.99     3.36  3.58       
Sturtevant Jct (skipping Mt. Zion spur)5.01     4.12          
Hikes from Chantry Flat:                 
Hoegee's Camp Loop (via Upper and Lower Winter Creek Trails)5.045.02    4.86   6.00      
Hoegee's Camp Loop (via Upper and Lower Winter Creek Trails and First Water Trail)5.70    5.405.37          
Lower Winter Creek to Mt. Zion and back7.66     6.72          
Upper Winter Creek to Mt. Zion and return Lower Winter Creek8.20     7.34          
Upper Winter Creek to Mt. Zion and back8.74     7.96          
Zion loop (via Lower Winter Creek Trail and Gabrielino Trail)8.92     7.99          
Zion loop (via Upper Winter Creek Trail and Gabrielino Trail)9.46    9.408.6110.00         
Jct Upper / Lower Winter Creek to Zion Jct  0.16              

Sources For Some Individual Mileage Measurements

The notes below give the sources for some of the more discrepant mileages given in the table above. The purpose of these notes is not to embarrass any source, but simply to state where I derived the mileages quoted above, since it is not always obvious where the mileages came from.


Trail Signs:

The mileages come from these signs:

At the Gabrielino Trailhead at Chantry Flats

Robert's Camp0.7
Sturtevant Falls2
Spruce Grove4
Newcomb Pass5.1
West Fork10.4

At Robert's Camp, heading up the Lower Winter Creek Trail

Hoegee's Camp1.5
Mt. Wilson6.25
Chantry Flat5.5

At the Lower Zion Junction

Mt. Zion Summit1.25
Spruce Grove Campground3
Chantry Flat via Upper Winter Creek Trail3
Chantry Flat via Lower Winter Creek Trail2

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Copyright © 2000-2001 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 15 February 2001