Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 15, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 15, 2012 

One Of A Kind: Featuring unique homes and gardens and the people who create them Story by Chris Bertrand 

DREAMED OF YOUR CABIN IN THE WOODS? Unplug from City Life Nearby in Big Santa Anita Canyon for $45k

Have you dreamed of getting away from it all to your mountain getaway? One 
of just eighty remaining cabins was just listed nearly in our back yard. No long 
drive to Big Bear required. 

A disappearing commodity, Cabin #76 is one of only eighty cabins left in Big 
Santa Anita Canyon, of over three hundred built between the 1890’s and 1920’s. 
The oldest remaining structure was constructed in 1898. 

When you step back in time here, there’s a long list of modern life you might 
leave behind, beginning with your car, electricity and municipal water; but the 
benefits to your soul are, as they say in the Visa commercial, “priceless.”

Perhaps you need a place to write that novel, or compose that new hit tune. Mountain vistas, a nearby 55’ 
waterfall, hiking trails are all within reach of this cozy 250 square foot cabin. According to the website for 
Big Santa Anita Canyon, “A visit to Big Santa Anita Canyon is like a visit to the 19th Century. Although 
it is only 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles it seems far removed not only in space but also in time 
from our hectic existence.”

With literally no address, the rather simple and interesting directions for Cabin #76 on the multiple 
listing read: “Santa Anita Rd north in to Angeles Forest till it ends. Park and walk to cabin approximately 
1.75 miles. Best to go Friday to Sunday and stop at pack station at top of road - they will provide a map.” 

Only accessible by foot, mountain bike or mule, one follows the creek to one of the last of this group 
of cabins in this mountain enclave. Once you’re unplugged, enjoy your wood burning fireplace and 
kerosene lamps and the outhouse. One needn’t leave all the modern conveniences behind, however, as 
propane can run your cook stove, oven heaters, barbecue, lighting and even a refrigerator.

The local lore tells of gold discovered during the 1850’s. Though no significant amounts of gold were 
ever obtained, the discovery led to construction of the first of the many trails that crisscross the area, 
including logging trails. Wilbur M. Sturtevant cut a trail even further during the 1890’s, and established 
his Sturtevant Camp, still there today. Over the next four decades, during the hiking craze in Los Angeles, 
many other hikers’ lodgings were built, though this is the only one that remains, as the others have succumbed to fire, 
flood, decay and neglect. 

The first ever Sierra Club establishment in Southern California, Muir Lodge, was built below Sturtevant Falls.

Hikers today will still see mules, (Yes, that was mules!) and horses along the trail hauling supplies into the various 

Maps are available at Adam’s Pack Station, a seventy year tradition in the canyon, open on Friday to Sunday, from 
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. only. The station’s website indicates, “Today there are 80 cabins left in Big Santa Anita Canyon, and of the five 
resorts, only Sturtevant’s is still with us. The only road in this canyon is the one to Chantry Flat. One must hike to all of the cabins. The cabin 
nearest Chantry is 3/4 mile in and the most distant are 4 miles in. There is no electricity, no municipal water, no septic, no garbage service 
and no address. The only ‘utility’ is the old crank-phone system. All supplies must be packed in and all garbage packed out. Cabin owners 
are bound by all ecological laws and generators are frowned upon. The only universally accepted technology in this canyon is propane.”

When one buys a cabin here, they are issued a ‘Special Use Permit’ to keep the improvements on Federal land. No new sites are being 
permitted, now or ever. The Forest Service archaeologists have determined that the entire cabin tract should remain intact.”

Visit their website at or call 626-447-7356. An important access detail: Sierra Madre 
Police Department locks the access road gate at 8 p.m., so a little planning is required for your ingress and egress. For 
more history of the area, visit

Cabin #78 is listed at $45,000, with a U.S. Federal land lease of $400 per year. For more information in this particular 
cabin, contact Darren Hubert of Blue Pacific Property at 323-898-2991 or View the 
property online at Information for this article was obtained from Hubert and all three 
websites listed.


While indicators show that housing is making a comeback, the glut of negative reporting is 
still making people skittish about buying a home. This has created a hot rental market, with 
few places available to lease and rising rent rates. Consider some reasons why it’s always 
better to own than to rent.

First, as owner, you are your own landlord. You won’t be kicked out for any reason other 
than not making your mortgage payments. You control every other aspect of how you 
choose to live in your home.


Even more important, those monthly payments are a kind of forced savings, helping you 
to build equity. Although it’s possible that home values could fall further, the same could 
happen to your 401(k). But over the long term, both types of investment are more likely to 
see gains.


Right now, interest rates are still very low, which means that if you choose a fixed-rate mortgage, 
that rate will never change, and you will build equity at an even quicker pace.

Another reason to opt for the ownership route is that you’ll find – particularly now with 
so few leases available – that the nicest homes in the safest neighborhoods with the best 
schools will be offered for sale and not for rent. Consult with an agent and turn that rent 
payment into savings and security instead.

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: