Hiking trails in LA: The best hikes with waterfalls

Looking for hiking trails in LA? Head outdoors after a rainy day and experience these five hikes with waterfalls.

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Photograph: Victor Leung

Hiking trails in LA: Eaton Canyon Falls

Eaton Canyon Falls, Altadena


Don’t let the fact that the Eaton Canyon Natural Area is also home to the dubiously named Moist Canyon keep you from visiting this popular spot. The abundance of slow-moving families? It’s a legitimate deterrent, unless, of course, you are in possession of a few children yourself, in which case this is the perfect hike for you and your over-five-year-olds. Make sure that everyone is wearing shoes that can stand getting a bit moist as there are several stream crossings on the easy, under-three-mile trek—we counted nine along the route, but it varies depending on the season. Start your journey at the Nature Center parking lot and take the main Park Road Trail 1.5 miles through a wooded, rocky area that inclines gently. Once you reach the plunging 50-foot waterfall that drops into a beautiful punchbowl of rock, enjoy wading in the shallows, but avoid climbing up to the razorback trail above the falls—two people died this past year doing just that. If you’re looking for a challenge, further ahead the trail links up with the Mt. Wilson Toll Road, an eight-mile hike to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. Otherwise just turn back the way you came. If you do detour into Moist Canyon be sure to listen for gunshots—the Pasadena Police Department’s firing range borders the canyon, but they swear that it’s all perfectly safe!

Eaton Canyon Falls

Address: 1750 N Altadena Dr

Trailhead: Park at the Nature Center and cross the wash to the clearly marked trailhead.

Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes

Length: ~3 miles

Time: 90 mins


Users say

13 comments
john
john

great story about water falls in LA. Here's a link to photos of a couple more great falls in LA http://smu.gs/13M8Pxz

plaidbus
plaidbus

Why on earth would you publicly blab about this place? There goes the neighborhood. I shall expect the spray paint any day now. Thanks so much...

plaidbus
plaidbus

Why on earth would you publicly blab about this place? There goes the neighborhood. I shall expect the spray paint any day now. Thanks so much...

plaidbus
plaidbus

Why on earth would you publicly blab about this place? There goes the neighborhood. I shall expect the spray paint any day now. Thanks so much...

plaidbus
plaidbus

Why on earth would you publicly blab about this place? There goes the neighborhood. I shall expect the spray paint any day now. Thanks so much...

plaidbus
plaidbus

Why on earth would you publicly blab about this place? There goes the neighborhood. I shall expect the spray paint any day now. Thanks so much...

beef
beef

Damn you. Escondido is already overrun with people now that Yelp came along. And now it will be trashed!

rew
rew

Definitely a relaxing spot for lunch and a little dip =) The observatory is also a wonderful place to stop for a few if you have the grit for a weekend hike more than a few miles. Razorback trail is an established trail, but it is most definitely not for children or anyone inexperienced with rock climbing; the average death toll on Razorback in one per month. The waterfalls beyond are beautiful and deep enough for diving, and you'll find yourself practically alone on a day up there.

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