Big Santa Anita Canyon is located in the “Front Country” of the San Gabriel Mountains above the cities of Sierra Madre and Arcadia, California. The multi-forked watershed was known historically as The Big Santa Anita and is currently referred to by it’s many frequenters as simply “The Canyon“. It is home to 81 rustic cabins, a working pack station, a historic mountain camp, and a waterfall. The canyon is best described by the following excerpt a the 1920’s short story by Charles Francis Saunders:
“A beautiful trail is this of Sturtevant’s, passing from shadow to sunshine and from sunshine to shadow again, its higher stretches companioning the tumbling waters of a foamy, energetic mountain brook, the Big Santa Anita, called Big, as I take it, not because it is really big, but because Little Santa Anita is less. Clinging to the slopes of the gorge, in the cool twilight cast by Big-Cone Spruces, Bays and Water Maples, are the cottages and cabins of city folk who thus take their mountain air with a dash of home comfort. These are sometimes clustered so thickly as to seem a sylvan village, and perched about as they are amid the crags, with the musical waters cascading below and a waterfall of respectable dimensions close by, they have a touch of the alpinesque. For the itinerant, two or three boarding-camps, as Sturtevant’s, Roberts’, and Fern Lodge, display the bush of hospitality at a price, their supplies brought up on burro-back from the mountain’s foot. Woodwardias, most regal of Southern Caliornia ferns, crowd the stream borders, and in favored situations rise in graceful fountains of five feet or more…“
This website is a project of Friends of the San Gabriels, in partnership with Burcon Outfitters and YOU. We will be implementing some social sharing software so that you can help us with our mission. Using this website we will:
- Provide information for visitors
- Facilitate networking of fellow canyonites
- Document the past and present of The Canyon
- Advocate for the preservation of its living history
Login for free site membership is coming very soon.