Last Saturday was about the only sunny day we’ve had here in LA for almost the last two weeks! And even so, it was more overcast than it was actually sunny. I think Alex and I were experiencing cabin fever, because we woke up and immediately decided that we would be going on a hike. We did a quick google search, and happened upon Eaton Canyon in Pasadena. It’s listed as a natural area with a cute little nature center and it immediately reminded me of Wildwood Nature Preserve in Harrisburg — one of my favorite places to stop anytime I travel back east. But most importantly, Eaton Canyon has a waterfall! With the considerable amount of rain we’ve been getting through December and January, we figured this would be the opportune time to go. And so off we went!
The trail itself is 3.5 miles out and back and is a fairly casual hike. Dogs and kids are welcomed and encouraged! You have the option at the tail end of the trail to split off to another ~1.5 mile trek to the waterfall, where you’ll have to cross a couple of streams, so balance and a good pair of hiking boots is key! This part of the hike is a little more rugged. The waterfall was actually really impressive, mostly due to the fact of who would expect to find a waterfall in Los Angeles?!
Parking is plentiful, with an overflow lot if you can’t find an actual paved space, and the nature center is really nice — especially if you have young kids! There is so much to learn about in there, and there is even an entire wall filled up with exhibits where you can see real live snakes, lizards, toads, and spiders that have been rehabilitated. There are multiple areas for picnics, including pavilions; and there are other canyon trails that lead off of the main trail if you’re looking for a longer stretch to get moving. I would assume these trails are a little less crowded too. It was really a very beautiful hike! Alex and I kept talking about coming back to run, because the views are really something!
If you’re looking to extend your day in Pasadena after a morning hike, like we did, then I recommend stopping into Old Pasadena where you’ll find lots of shopping, movie-going, and tons of great restaurants and bars. It’s really a very educational part of town, with plaques hung all over the place stating the history of the area. There’s lots of outdoor seating areas and a little park to hang out in too. We had just the loveliest time walking around the area and window shopping 😉