My favorite hikes are ones avid hikers would consider nature walks… but hey, its good for the soul to get outside and do some easy hiking every now and then. Eaton Canyon Falls is definitely one of those hikes and I absolutely loved it. This trail is perfect for the whole family. Super easy, not much elevation (total of 300ft) and leads to a 40 foot waterfall! What’s not to love?
Eaton Canyon Falls is located in Pasadena, a Los Angeles suburb. The trail is located about 17 miles from the center of Los Angeles. The first half of the hike is mostly flat with plenty of sun. The wash along side of the trail is filled with beautiful multicolored dessert foliage in the summer. I hear there’s an abundance of breathtaking wildflowers in the spring. The second half of the hike has a lot of tree cover and gets a little adventurous as you boulder hop across the stream a few times on your way to the waterfall. The water fall is stunning and cascades into a small pool of clear water where you can cool off on a hot summer day.
Step by Step Guide To Waterfall:
Step 1: Trailhead
The trail begins at the north end of the Nature Center Parking Lot. Follow the trail where you’ll hit a wash about .2 miles into your hike.
Step 2: Cross The Wash
When you get to the wash, cross it and follow the fire road directly ahead.
Step 3: Follow Fire Road
Once you have crossed the wash, turn left and follow the wide dirt fire road for about 1 mile.
Step 4: Landslide
To your right you will see a large landslide that took out part of the toll road above you. When you see this the next trail junction is near. Keep your eyes open. I passed it, oops.
Step 5: Down Into The Wash
To your left, just passed the landslide you’ll see a smaller use road that leads down towards the wash. Take this path and cross underneath the bridge. If you find your self on top of the bridge you’ve gone too far. You can either back track all the way to the landslide and find the use road or look out for a smaller steeper path that will connect you to the trail below just before the bridge. We opted for the smaller steeper trail, it was relatively easy to maneuver to the trail below.
Step 6: Follow The Water
Once you cross under the bridge, the landscape changes with a more forest feel. This part of the trail has a lot of shade and tree cover. At this point you are traveling directly into the canyon and will occasionally have to cross the small stream that flows from the falls. Most people find ways across the stream using rocks and large fallen branches but others find it easier to just get into the water and cross. At most the stream will be about knee deep. During summer and fall this stream may be completely dry.
Step 7: The Falls
The stream leads to the base of the Eaton Canyon Waterfall. Congratulations! You’ve made it.
I would absolutely do this hike again. I loved it. If you plan on going on this hike, I recommend you plan for a week day as this hike gets a ton of foot traffic on the weekends. As I mentioned before this hike is great for families but I would think twice about bringing a stroller. The first half of the hike is stroller friendly but you might find it hard getting your stroller back and fourth across the stream and rocks on the second leg of the trail. Hope this step by step guide was helpful. I would love to hear about your experience, leave a comment below. Happy Hiking!