How to get to Eaton Canyon Waterfalls, California

Winter Hike in California

I've always been a city girl, I love transportation convenience and efficient way of finding my way through google maps. However, there's always this interesting feeling of being with nature and getting lost in its beauty: hopping from one stone to another, crossing a river and walking on dirt roads. To feed this desirable curiosity for the great outdoors my husband decided to introduce me to one of his few hikes in California. 

The place we're heading to is the Eaton Canyon Waterfalls trail. It's a beginner hiker's playground where you get to play with dusty paths, river trails, balancing acts, and finishing a 1 liter bottled of water under the heat of the sun. We hiked in winter, I'm happy to say it's unlike Canada where you have to fight snowstorms and Mr. Big Foot, it's a breezy, easy hike: not too cold not too warm, just perfect. Let's go!

How to get there: 
Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park and Nature Center
Location: 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107 
Opening Hours:  Sunrise- Sunset
Entrance fee: Free
Parking: Free

Distance: 3.5 miles (back and forth)
Elevation: 436 feet
Duration: 3 hours and 30 minutes (back and forth, depending on pace)
Highlights: 40-foot tall waterfall

We started our hike from the Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park and Nature Center where we emptied our bladders and off to the beautiful waterfall. It started flat and easy however there's a little bit of challenge when you get to crossed the little rivers. I mean small kids were able to do it, for sure adults will have no problems at all. Just be careful and bring some spare socks, slippers, a shirt, underwear, pants, and a small towel if you can. As what they say better be prepared than sorry.

Reminders: When you see this sign, go left!

Once you see this sign, refer to the image above, you're on the right track. It's always advisable to start your day early as the air is cooler and the heat is bearable. And in that way, you have plenty of time to get lost and find your way back before sunset. We got a little bit lost, bypass the sign and went on the side track down the path. It wasn't that far from the sign but it would have been easier if we've found it earlier. Keep your eyes open and you won't get lost.

Follow the trail, be careful crossing the small rivers, some tree log moves, some stones are slippery and if you ever doubt your capabilities you'll never reach the other side. Take it easy, enjoy what you see and let the adrenaline take over.

I had a blast my husband and I was having so much fun balancing and creating faces as we make our way to the falls. We found our own shortcuts, as long as you keep yourself on the trail you'll be fine.

We personally love this rock, my husband took a picture of a couple here in this very rock a few years ago, which sparked my curiosity to see this wonderful place. I never knew California holds such beautiful wonders. I'm pretty excited to see more of this in summer, I bet there's more, unexplored and "not instagram" famous yet all around the state.

There's plenty of places to shot beautiful images too. We took turns getting the shots we love, hiding from a bush or all the way down to the water to get new perspective shots. 

Funny thing, we had one epic fail moment my husband wanted to show off how a gentleman treats a lady even on a really hard situation while crossing a river. One foot stepped on a wrong rock and splatters of waters came to life. As this daring man balances on a small rock for support and slowly gazed at his woman with a grin. One gray sock offered himself to the waters to save this man from humiliation, a worthy sock to be remembered. My husband claimed himself in seconds, laughed nervously and hiked like he has two dry, comfortable socks along with a pair of dry shoes. The lady had some splashes of water which she surely enjoyed and a little tiny bit of water in her shoes. Thus, a spare of socks would have been nice that is neatly placed at the back of the car.

We made it and that's all that matters. Ensure there's no lose articles and no trash behind. Always make sure to leave nothing behind except happy memories and a gazillion of pictures for your google photos; and among those selections, post one or two photo's on Instagram to feed your social media attendance in this world.

It's a great feeling to be detached from the online world for a few hours, to rewire yourself and to see something truly green around you. I love it and I recommend more human beings do it too. Sometimes we don't get to appreciate life anymore because we're too busy admiring someone else's life, sad reality and people should do something about it. Just get out and do your adventures. My husband and I have this sign at home " Do things that make you happy," it doesn't have to be a trip or a hike, just something different, be creative and I hope we all find our way in this technological crazy era of humankind.

We started early in the morning and finished just right after lunchtime. Good thing, we packed some sandwiches and fruits for our hike and simply ate at the back of our car. 

Overall, It was a great hike to Eaton Canyon Waterfalls, a hidden gem of California. People think it's all about just Hollywood and the city but beyond those border lies a more beautiful place to see. 

Need some nom noms? 
Try Saul's Easy Breakfast Enchilada Recipe

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight, and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/BnB booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs, and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks add up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city/food tours).

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Lake Balboa Park and watch the sunset (and ducks), California.

Where am I going next?

My next adventure is to check out the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California.


  1. I think this is really a nice place.

    1. Hey Daniel!

      Absolutely! Can't wait to go back there this summer. Cheers!