This short hike along Millard Creek is a pleasure any time of year, but fall and spring are the best times to visit to catch Millard Falls in its full glory. The 50-foot rain-fed waterfall in the San Gabriel Mountains has the highest flows in these wetter seasons. A boulder wedged at the top of the waterfall and the small amphitheater with rock-climbing bolts makes Millard Falls a beautiful destination close to L.A. worthy of the short hike.
The trail departs from the parking lot and Millard Day Use Area, continuing along the wide trail toward Millard Campground. After about a quarter mile, the wide trail ends at a creek that crosses the trail. Here, take a right to continue along Millard Canyon. The trail continues alongside Millard Creek for a half mile, with a few crossings that are easily crossed by most hikers. Take care to avoid the rusty pipes and equipment that have been left behind by early settlers of the canyon.
The falls are the main attraction of this hike, with a split stream of clear waters flowing past the wedged boulder and into a small pool. The continual flow feeds a brilliant lime and turquoise bank of moss along the rocks. However, even if the creek is dry due to the season, the canyon is still worth a visit. Succulents, wildflowers, and even some mushrooms might be found along the trail.
The area around the popular falls is graciously large enough to accommodate the significant number of hikers, but if you prefer to have a more solitary experience, plan your trip for a weekday. The hike doesn't take long, so if you're looking to extend it, consider hiking to nearby Dawn Mine further up Millard Canyon.