The Practical Sturtevant Camp
What the Camp provides for you:
- The cabins include covered mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and propane wall heaters.
- The bathhouse and retreat cabin have hot showers and sinks, flush toilets, toilet paper and paper towels.
- The main kitchen is commercial-style with everything needed to serve groups up to 60, including table-service, silverware, drinking glasses and hot beverage mugs. There are three propane refrigerator/freezers, a six-burner stove top, two ovens, and a grill top. This also includes pots, pans, oven safe cookware and gloves/potholders, etc; Plastic/Saran wrap and foil; cast iron skillets and casserole type dishes? Also, all the clean-up items.
- The main kitchen also has salt & pepper, most common spices, olive or vegetable oil for cooking, paper towels, hand towels, hot mitts, dish soap and trash-bags/containers.
- Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and instant oatmeal are provided complimentary to all guests and hikers.
- Weber 22-inch BBQ grill and charcoal.
- Drinking water.
- Electricity, in the evenings (carefully monitored to sustain the limited supply – only available for lighting from dusk to 10 pm then headlamps are needed). There is no wi-fi. This is an off the grid camp. Enjoy the company of others and board games.
- Trash removal. Your trash will be packed out by the friendly donkeys.
Five things every person needs to bring when staying in the guest cabins:
- Change of clothes, appropriate for the season and predicted weather.
- Towel and toiletries, including shampoo and soap.
- Flashlight or headlamp.
- Bug spray (spring and summer).
- Water bottle (for the trail).
What your group needs to bring:
- Food and drinks besides water.
- Depending on your menu, you might need stuff for preparing your food.
- The camp often has left over staples such as condiments, syrup, oil, coffee, etc. Check with the camp before you shop.
Water at camp is spring fed and is treated weekly to match the standards for potable water according to L.A. County, but it is not certified by the County because we do not have the automated treatment system required by the County. Bottled water is also provided for those that are uncomfortable with the standards.
What you DON’T need to bring:
- Your cell or smart phone, because it won’t work (Verizon sometimes from the heliport.)*
- If you decide to bring a smart phone for the camera, remember that electricity is limited to lighting only.
- Anything related to your job.
- Firearms and/or anything that plugs in.
* Check with your host about emergency communications.
What’s available in Camp:
- The Big Swing, badminton / volleyball, shuffleboard and horseshoes; ping pong, various board games, and of course, unlimited hiking.
- New archery course.
- Also: the outdoor chapel, and the nature trail out to the canyon overlook (good for night-time stargazing.)
- Dogs are welcome in camp.
- However, you are fully responsible for your pet. Cleanup outside activity, any inside accidents, no digging, and you need to control barking. Please only bring you best friend if they get along with others (four-legged and two-legged). You are sharing the camp with others.
What YOU do:
- Sturtevant Camp operates like a hostel: you do your own cooking and kitchen clean-up, and you’re asked to clean-up your cabin prior to check-out.
- Check-in & out: Friday check-in starts 2pm; on Saturday and other days by arrangement with your host (usually after 12 pm worksk); Sunday check-outs start by 10am and are final by noon.
- Group leaders and parents: the camp is located in true wilderness, and operates under special conditions. Therefore the host will meet with you on arrival, and set a time for a brief orientation with your group or family. The purpose is insure a safe, positive experience that sends you home healthy and happy, and leaves the camp in good condition for the next group.
Packing In / Out of Your Items:
- Consider having Adams’ Pack Station pack in your food and personal items. Think about how great your stay will be if you can eat things besides backpacking food or drink your favorite beverage. Plus you do not need to carry your personal items up. The cost is a mere dollar a pound.
- Adams’ Pack Station only packs to Sturtevant Camp on Fridays. You need to have your items to the pack station by 7:30 am the Friday of your weekend stay. You are welcome to bring the items up during the week or the weekend before. The Pack Station can store everything and refrigerate any perishable items.
- Items you want packed out come out the following Friday.
Check-In / Parking
- Check-in at Adams’ Pack Station prior to hiking in. This allows the pack station to contact the volunteer host to let them know you are on your way. This also means that your group must check-in prior to 5 pm. Plan for at least a three hour hike.
- Parking is at a premium. If you arrive on Friday, you should not have a problem parking. Purchase an adventure pass for $5/day from the pack station (one for each day of your trip). If you arrive on Saturday, you have two choices: 1) purchase an adventure pass for both Saturday and Sunday ($10 total) and park in the parking lot or along the road; 2) Park at Adams’ Pack Station for $30/night.
Directions to Camp
- If you have not been to Sturtevant Camp, you will find that there no signs at this time. First, look at the map located at: http://www.sturtevantcamp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/simple-map-chantry-to-sturtevant.pdf
- Next, besides following the map, from the time you leave the pack station after checking in you will be looking for signs to Spruce Grove Campground . Begin your trip at the white pipe gate that protects the paved from at the lower restrooms (Robert’s Road) (at 2200 ft of elevation). At the bottom of the paved road, there are signs (you dropped to 1700 ft). Head toward Spruce Grove. In another mile, there will be a trail head on your left side, follow either trail (Gabrielino trail to your left or the Top of Falls trail to your right). (You are at 1900 ft of elevation) The trail to your left is a better choice for most families. Both come together at Falling Sign Junction. Continue toward Spruce Grove. In another mile you will arrive at Cascade Picnic Area, continue toward Spruce Grove. In another mile you will arrive at Spruce Grove Campground. Continue through the campground and you will soon arrive at Sturtevant Camp (at 3200 ft). The full trip is a little over 4.3 miles. The trails are moderate to difficult, but most people do not have a problem with the hike if they take their time. Also, we have found that children also make it just fine. Even the very young ones.
Each group is assigned a volunteer host who will be with you at camp, ready to help you have a memorable mountain experience. Since your hosts are volunteers, tips are welcome.