Though the Eaton Canyon Falls Hike demands neither intrepidness nor your entire day, for a hike that’s located just outside of Pasadena, this adventure is tops. This moderately graded, very well marked trail is littered with boulders and uneven footing. Even still, the numerous stream crossings and the tumbling waterfall at the trail’s end make this a memorable and achievable experience for families
Nestled into the San Gabriel Mountains, this steep, rugged canyon is a product of the restless activity of the San Andreas and the San Gabriel Faults. So sheer that Spanish settlers originally dubbed them “El Precipio," or “The Precipice," these cliffs feature an array of gneiss, speckled granite, and translucent quartz. A host of creatures inhabit the canyon, most notably lizards, mule deer, toads, opossum, foxes, and bobcats. In the spring and early summer, colorful wildflowers sprout up through the dry earth at the canyon's mouth.
Though it can be very crowded on a nice day, the 30-foot waterfall at trail’s end tumbles into an impressive amphitheater, in the middle of which sits a usually waist-deep pool that is perfect for cooling off. Invariably adding to its popularity, these falls are quite resilient and resist drying up even in the face of some of California’s worst droughts.
If you have a little extra time following your hike, you'll find plenty if information about the area's natural history, flora, and fauna at the nearby Eaton Canyon Nature Center.