Eaton Canyon in Altadena is one of the most popular hikes in the Los Angeles area. The hike leads to a waterfall but has several different streams along the way that a lot of people enjoy playing around in. Keep reading this post for helpful information about hiking to Eaton Canyon Falls.

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eaton canyon nature center

They did warn us when we checked in that bears and rattlesnakes have been spotted recently. Especially from people being careless with leaving food out and going off the trails. Luckily I did not encounter any dangerous animals.


Due to the limited number of people who can hike at any given time free parking in the nearby lots are plentiful. Near the parking lot you will find portapotties should you need to use them.

Hiking to Eaton Canyon Falls

eaton canyon

Be sure to take the path to the right of the sign. I did some research before my hike and most of what I read said that the hike was around 3.4 miles roundtrip. From the parking lot to the actual waterfall was a little over 2.5 miles according to my apple watch. I cannot explain how it seemed to be fewer miles for other people but by the time I got back to my car I had walked 5.22 miles total. We arrived at 1:55 pm for the 2 pm time slot and got back to my car a little after 5 pm.

I felt like we had a pretty good pace and did not overstay at the waterfall but we did take our time crossing over the water. I would allow for a minimum of 2 and a half hours but be prepared that it could take longer.

eaton canyon altadena

When I did this hike in 2020 you had to make a reservation but luckily this is now open for everyone to enjoy.

eaton canyon falls hike

This is one of the best hikes that I have done in the Los Angeles area thanks to the fact that you don’t have to do too much climbing. It is a mainly flat walk until you start getting to the water and then you have to navigate rocks and do a little bit of climbing here and there. I recently got a pair of hiking shoes and this was the perfect way to break them in.

I also brought a pair of flip flops with me which I used off and on to keep my shoes as dry as possible. I would bring multiple pairs of socks next time. The first part of the hike does not have a lot of shade but that changes as you get closer to the water.

Eaton Canyon Falls Hike

This hike was such an enjoyable experience and I am already looking forward to doing it again.

eaton canyon falls hike

The water at the falls is not too deep but I wish I would have worn shorts. The bottom of the water is rocky so I highly recommend water shoes or flip-flops. I recently got a waterproof phone pouch and it sure comes in handy at places like this.

Here are some of my other favorite hikes that I’ve done in the Los Angeles area: Runyon, Back of the Hollywood Sign, Wisdom Tree.

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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