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Winter Creek Loop

 4.4 (12)
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4.9 Miles 7.9 Kilometers



1,236' 377 m


-1,245' -379 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (13°)

2,889' 881 m


1,794' 547 m


Shared By Rob Klusman


Minor Issues 24 days ago
Fallen Trees - Some trees down. Stream crossings should be approached with caution due to high flows and deep channeling after the rains. History

Getting forecast...

Singletrack loop traversing Upper Winter Creek, Hoegee's Camp and out Lower Winter Creek to Chantry.

Rob Klusman

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-


Winter Creek Loop is ~5.5 miles (GPX track shows ~4.75 but canopy can obscure the view of the sky). Trail is largely packed dirt/decomposed rock with sections of exposed rock that may require dismounting. The route has significant shade - particularly once you reach Hoegee's Camp which make the route a good option when other routes (Brown Mtn) are unbearable. Lots of hikers use the area so please follow proper etiquette and yield as appropriate.

Need to Know

Parking is a challenge on weekends. Get there early and have your Adventure Pass or be prepared to park 1/4+ miles down the hill. Cell coverage is VERY limited. There are call boxes in the canyon (Hoegee's and Lower Winter Creek section) that allow calls out to the Adam's Pack Stn. in an emergency. Ride within your abilities and exercise caution. Rescues from this area can be complicated and are not quick.


Enjoyable singletrack clockwise loop with several narrow areas with significant exposure. Starting at the Chantry Flat parking area ascend the paved San Olene fire road above the picnic area until you reach the Upper Winter Creek Trail trailhead on your right. Jump onto the singletrack here and follow the trail as it contours along the mountain side gradually climbing up the canyon before descending toward Hoegee's Camp. The trail is largely under the tree canopy at this point and becomes more technical with lots of buried rocks and other obstacles.

You'll pass a trail junction to Mt. Wilson on your left. Stay on the main trail and you'll find yourself in the canyon bottom with periodic stream crossings (may be dry). Pass the Mt. Zion Trail junction sign on your left. Stay right and descend through Hoegee's Camp along the Lower Winter Creek Trail drainage continuing to make periodic stream crossings and switchback descents around the various check dams in the canyon. Along the way, you'll pass a large number of vacation cabins only accessible by trail. The Lower Winter Creek Trail exits at Robert's Camp where you cross the stream and ascend the paved fire road (2N40) up the aptly nicknamed Cardiac Hill back to Chantry Flat.

This is a great ride with a variety of technical challenges most of which can be ridden depending on skill level. Several areas may require HAB. There is significant exposure in several areas. Significant portions of the ride are shaded although the ride up Cardiac Hill can be scorching. The area is heavily traveled by hikers on the weekend and proper trail etiquette is mandatory. Stop in at the Adam's Pack Station for a cold drink and food. They sometimes feature live music on the weekends. Come early to beat the crowds and find parking!

History & Background

Many of the cabins in the canyon date back to the 20s and are only accessible via trail. The Adam's Pack Station is one of last pack stations in CA using mules/donkeys to ferry supplies to the cabins in Big Santa Anita Canyon. Many of the locations are named after vacation camps that existed during the Great Hiking Era in the San Gabriel's before the Great Depression and WWI.


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Your Check-Ins


Dec 27, 2018
John Gump
add Mt. Zion and Gabrielino 12mi
Oct 30, 2018
Jake Yi
way above my skill level. If i had the skills, it would be a super fun loop. not for novices. 4.9mi — 1h 28m
Oct 10, 2018
loose-screw dull-tool
Aug 4, 2018
Kyle Chin
Jul 7, 2018
Victor Saenz
Sandy,Rocky super hot at 7Am started upper climb to lower super Fun! And fast! 5.3mi
Jun 18, 2018
Feb 25, 2018
Steve Bikesalot
Jan 13, 2018
Chris Svensson

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 12 votes


  4.4 from 12 votes
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in California


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6,459 Since Jun 14, 2015
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Jake Norman
Redondo Beach, CA
Jake Norman   Redondo Beach, CA
Tried to ride here on a Saturday but there was no parking in the lot or on the road for miles. So crowded! People were parking several miles down the hill. No thanks. I'd rather not pound pavement unless it earns me a singletrack descent, so I turned around and went to Lower Monroe Truck Trail and had a blast. I will have to try Winter Creek again on a weekday. Mar 11, 2017
Lindy Kirkland
Fredericksburg, VA
Lindy Kirkland   Fredericksburg, VA
As a primarily east coast rider, this trail was a good challenge. It is a bit narrow in spots with some steep drops so I probably walked more than normal. I ventured off the loop and did the climb to the top of Mt. Zion which was definitely mostly Hike a bike. The descent was a ton of fun and the lower canyon trail descent was a blast. If I had more time, I would just do the loop twice just to get the descent again. Parking was not an issue on a Wednesday although I did have to move my car to the gravel lot next to the store because I didn't have the pass and had to pay at the self-serve kiosk. All in all a great ride. Mar 8, 2018
Pasadena, Ca
J P   Pasadena, Ca
Really fun trail. Its an easy climb and mostly in the shade (which I know most of us in the area aren't used to.) It was more technical than I expected with some very fun rock challenges. Seems longer that it is but recommend adding mileage by hopping on the Mt Wilson turn off mid trail (really fun trail) and when you've had enough back track and finish this loop. I went early on a Monday afternoon and it was still crowded with only one spot open in the lot. The climb pack to parking is no bueno but over quickly, very similar to climbing up to start of Sunset on the paved road. Lots of hikers so a bell is advised. Jun 19, 2018

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