Hike Eaton Canyon Falls Trail

On a hunt for waterfalls in Los Angeles County? The hike through Eaton Canyon in the springtime is filled with vibrant yellow and purple flowers, mossy rocks, and lush rolling hills. This is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, California. Although the river that flows through the canyon has been reduced to a trickle in recent years, the 2023 rainy season has transformed it into a rushing river. The trail winds back and forth over the river and leads to a 40-foot waterfall.

If you’re looking for some good books for hiking or nature in Los Angeles, try Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles (Amazon) or Best Hikes Los Angeles: The Greatest Trails in the LA Mountains, Beaches, and Canyons (Amazon).

Hiking Info: Eaton Canyon Trail

  • Trailhead location: 1999 Veranada Ave, Pasadena, CA 91107

  • 4.4 Mile Out & Back Trail

  • Rated: Easy to Difficult, depending on water levels

  • Elevation change: 521 ft

  • Admission: Free

  • Parking: Free large parking lot

  • Bathrooms: There are bathrooms at the trailhead

  • Leashed dogs are allowed

When To Go

Los Angeles temperate weather means you can do this hike year round, but the waterfall can potentially be nothing but a trickle in the summer months. The best time to go in my opinion is after some good rain. We did this hike at the beginning of March and it was great. The end of March or April could potentially be even better because all the spring flowers will be in bloom. If there has been a lot of rain prepare to get wet, you’ll have to cross the rushing river around 8 times each way to get to the falls.

Do NOT go on this hike if there is any chance of rain, flash floods can occur here.

The trail starts in the parking lot close to the city of Pasadena, it’s easy to follow and is pretty level. With the water flowing you’ll get your feet wet pretty quickly though. Water shoes like Keens with toe protection would be the best to wear. You can check All Trails to see the most recent photos of what the trail entails.

Walk about a mile until you reach this concrete bridge, follow the trail below the bridge.

If it’s been a rainy season, after the bridge you’ll have to cross the river several times to reach the waterfall. I counted 8 crossings on the way there, which means 8 on the return trip as well. Some crossings are knee deep so only bring your dog if they are good swimmers and be extra careful.

You won’t get lost as long as you follow the river, the trails are decently clear and there are a lot of people, but just keep that in mind. The river leads to the waterfall.

The waterfall itself is a 40-foot cascade that flows year-round, although the best time to see it is in the spring when the snowmelt and rainfall are at their highest. The pool at the base of the falls is a popular spot for wading and swimming, but be careful because the water can be cold and the rocks can be slippery.

Overall, Eaton Canyon Falls is a beautiful and accessible hike that offers visitors a taste of the natural beauty of Southern California. However, because of it’s popularity, the trail can get crowded on weekends and holidays, so I recommend going early in the morning or on weekdays if possible.

Know any other good waterfalls hike in Southern California? Please leave them in the comments below.


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