Eaton Canyon WaterfallEaton Canyon Waterfall anaheimer
Eaton Canyon, nestled in the picturesque San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena and Arcadia, California, offers a delightful hiking experience. The trail, shaded by lush trees, leads adventurers to a stunning 40-foot waterfall, a serene retreat from the bustling city life.
The waterfall, a year-round spectacle, presents its most majestic view in the spring. The trail's moderate difficulty, marked by its length and elevation gain, is interspersed with challenging sections, adding an element of adventure to the hike. Hikers can expect to navigate steep inclines, engage in rock hopping, and cross the stream multiple times on their way to the waterfall. The trail becomes more accessible during the dry months when the stream levels are lower.
Safety Tip: The trail's adventurous aspects also bring risks. Loose gravel and slippery rocks are common, so wearing waterproof hiking boots is advisable for a safer experience.
The round trip from the nature center spans approximately 4 miles. Depending on your pace and the number of breaks you take, the hike can last between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Many hikers, including myself, prefer to take their time ascending, soaking in the natural beauty and capturing memories with photographs, which makes the return trip quicker.
Facility Tip: There are no restrooms along the trail, but the nature center at the trailhead provides excellent facilities.
The initial segment of the hike is a wide, long dirt road running parallel to a typically dry rocky wash. After crossing the wash, keep left to stay on the main trail. You'll soon encounter a fork; follow the small sign pointing left to the waterfall trail. Ignoring this sign and going right leads to a longer, more strenuous path towards Mount Wilson.
At the next junction, go left again, passing under a large concrete bridge to continue on the main Eaton Canyon trail. This section is shaded by trees and offers pleasant views and sounds of the stream.
Trail Tip: Be cautious of numerous small side trails that can lead you astray. While some allow closer access to the stream, it's important to return to the main trail.
Upon reaching the trail's end, about 1.9 miles in, you'll be greeted by the waterfall cascading into a shallow pool. Despite the icy cold water, you can wade in for a closer look at the falls.
Relaxation Tip: The area around the waterfall is perfect for a restful break. Find a rock to sit on, enjoy the view, and perhaps have a snack.
Popularity Note: This hike is extremely popular, especially on weekends. For a more tranquil experience, consider a weekday visit or an early weekend start.
Safety Warning: While admiring the waterfall, you might notice hikers atop the falls. Reaching the top involves a narrow, hazardous trail, and many have been injured attempting it. It's best to enjoy the view from below.
For a shorter hike, the Pinecrest Gate entrance on Altadena Drive is an alternative. This route offers neighborhood street parking and a quicker path to the falls. Join the main trail by crossing the Mount Wilson Bridge and looping back under it after descending at the fork.
Parking Tip: The Pinecrest Gate area has limited facilities and strict parking regulations. Ensure you're aware of and adhere to these to avoid any issues.
Eaton Canyon Trail
1750 N Altadena Dr
Pasadena, CA 91107
2266 Pinecrest Dr
Phone: (626) 398-5420