Nestled above Pasadena, the region is a canyons and waterfalls treasure trove. Among these, the Millard Canyon Falls hike is a delightful and relatively easy way to experience the beauty of a Southern California waterfall.
Depending on your starting point, the hike to Millard Canyon Falls can either be a more extended 4-mile journey or a shorter, more direct 2.5-mile trek.
The trail, winding along a picturesque creek, involves multiple stream crossings. These crossings add an element of adventure to the hike, as you navigate the natural landscape.
Parts of the trail include some rock scrambling, which may be challenging for the elderly or very young children. However, older children (ages 5 and up) often find the stream crossings and the natural terrain exhilarating.
One unique feature of the trail is a section where hikers must slide down a slope to continue. This 'butt slide' adds a fun and unusual element to the adventure.
The waterfall, which is the highlight of the hike, is a stunning sight. It maintains a robust flow for most of the year, peaking after winter rains and during the spring months. The cascade falls gracefully over rocks, creating a serene and picturesque environment.
While crossing the stream can be enjoyable, wearing waterproof hiking shoes is advisable to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Parking can be a challenge. The lower lot often fills up quickly, and the upper lot can be equally difficult to find space in. Patience is key when looking for a spot.
An Adventure Pass is required for parking in the Angeles National Forest. These can be purchased at local convenience stores like 7-Eleven or sporting goods stores. Visit the Forest Service website for more details.
For the full hiking experience, park at Brown Mountain Truck Trail, Altadena, CA 91001. Alternatively, for a shorter hike, park at Millard Trail Camp, 4041 Chaney Trail, Altadena, CA 91001.
For an in-depth guide and turn-by-turn directions, I highly recommend the trail guides from Hiking Guy. Click here for a detailed guide to Millard Falls.
Additional Tips for Hikers:
- Best Time to Visit: Late winter to early spring is ideal, as the waterfall is at its most vibrant following rainfall.
- Stay Prepared: Bring water, snacks, and a first-aid kit. The natural terrain can be unpredictable.
- Respect Nature: Stay on marked trails to protect the local ecosystem and avoid getting lost.
- Photography: The falls and the surrounding area offer excellent opportunities for photography, especially in the morning light.