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Eaton Canyon

A short trip into Eaton Canyon for an accessible waterfall. Great wildflowers in the spring, too!

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.76 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  This is a relatively easy less-than-four mile hike to a 40-foot waterfall. Its proximity to civilization and short distance make this... more »

Tips:  Try to hike during a weekday, when you won't have to deal with as many other hikers. If you can only hike on a weekend, get to the... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Park and Trailhead

Park near the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, hike to the north end of the parking lot and join the wide dirt road heading north.

In the spring, this area can be rich with wildflowers.

2. Picnic Area

At about 480 feet, pass a picnic area and continue north on the broad, wide path.

3. Cross Wash

Cross a wide and rocky wash to the northeast side.

Depending on the weather and time of year, there may or may not be water flowing here. Most often, there is only a small stream in one of the center channels.

4. Stay Left

After crossing the wash, stay left to continue on the main fire road, ignoring the faint trails that head northeast and southeast.

5. Continue Straight

Continue straight on the wide dirt road, ignoring the more narrow path heading to the northeast.

6. Waterfall Trail

At this three way junction, stay left, following the clearly marked sign for the Waterfall.

Hiking to the right will keep you on the Eaton Canyon Trail as it switchbacks up to the old Mount Wilson Toll Road - a very long and mostly shadeless route to the summit of Mount Wilson.

Continue hiking northwest. The trail gets closer to the wash as it ... More

7. Landslide Debris

Here, the trail passes through the rubble and debris from a recent landslide. The trail may still be under construction, but it should be passable. Continue north.

8. Under the Bridge

Keep left at the three way junction here and take the trail that heads under the concrete bridge and into Eaton Canyon.

Up until now, the trail you've been hiking on has been broad and flat. Once it enters Eaton Canyon, however, it becomes much more rugged. You'll be doing a bit more boulder-hopping across creeks and uneven ground. Be sure to ... More

9. Eaton Canyon

Here, the trail enters Eaton Canyon proper.

From here on out, the trail is single-track, rocky, and very prone to crossing the Eaton Canyon creek. Be prepared for scrambling, boulder-hopping, or creek-crossing!

In the canyon, the trail is not nearly as well-defined as it is in the southern areas of the park - but don't worry about getting lost.... More

10. Use Trail to Top of Waterfall

Continue on the trail on the canyon floor, ignoring a faint use-trail that scrambles up the west side of the canyon wall here. This use-trail will take you above the waterfall, but the route is very dangerous and should only be attempted by experienced off-trail hikers -- and even then at their own risk. Hikers are injured and killed on this... More

11. Eaton Canyon Falls

At 1.9 miles, reach Eaton Canyon Falls, a 40-foot cascade into Eaton Canyon.

There's a small, shaded pool at the base of the falls - which can get especially crowded on weekends and hot summer days.

This mist from the falls can significantly cool this area if the sun's not getting through the canyon, so you may not want to linger depending on... More