Eaton Canyon Falls (From Pinecrest Drive)

Eaton Canyon Falls (From Pinecrest Drive)

Distance: 1.6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 246 Feet
Location: Altadena, California

Eaton Canyon is a pretty well known hike in the LA area, located in the foothills of Altadena.  The regular version of this hike is about 3.5 miles and starts at the Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park.  The version we’re looking at is significantly shorter, coming in at 1.6 miles, that starts around the halfway mark of the regular version.

Eaton is busy, but if you can go early in the morning you won’t run into too many others, and likely find a good parking spot (an adventure pass is needed here).  The whole thing can be done in about an hour and is a great option for a “before work” hike.

You start by entering this gate that looks locked.  Just look for the door on the left of it with the keypad, it’s unlocked during daylight hours.  Head down the paved pathway, cross the bridge & you’ll come to this fork in the road.  Go down the lower one on the right and take the switchback back towards the bridge.  There are some shortcuts you can take if you’re up for it.

Continue under the bridge and you’ll come to the stream.  The morning light here is really pretty coming through the gaps in the tree canopy.  The simple directions here are just follow the stream until you hit the waterfall.  If you’re trying to keep your feet dry, you’ll need to cross the stream back and forth about 6 or 8 times, half the fun of this one is finding the route to take across the rocks.

Keep heading upstream and you’ll eventually come around the bend and see the waterfall. Once you’re ready to turn around and head back, try and remember the same way you got across the stream the first time and do your best to not get wet.   It’s worth reiterating that this will be crowded on weekends and afternoons, but, overall this short & easy hike is worth it.

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