Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I have been off the trail for a month. A month is waaaay too long as my gut can attest to. I was thinking to myself that I would really push it, go 8-10 miles, killer elevation gains, killing a panther with my bare hands. You know, the usual outdoors stuff ADKinLA gets into.

However, one must know ones limitations and so I decided to check out Eaton Canyon in Altadena.

When I got there, I knew I was in trouble because the parking lot was full to the brim and it was almost 4pm. Everyone wanted to cool off in the waterfall apparently.

You start from the visitor center and make your way North following the creek which runs from the waterfall. Don't worry about getting lost as they have the signs COVERED.

The trail itself is pretty straight and a canoe (fireroad) type trail. The trail might be flat and a little lifeless but the views are great if you look up.

Eventually you get to a bridge. The key to the bridge is to go underneath it. Thankfully, I had brushed up on my Modern Hiker before going but I was very surprised how poorly signed it was. Even though this was my first time at Eaton, I was asked by several people bushwhacking all over the place how to get to the waterfall.

After the bridge, the trail crosses stream after stream. You can try to rock hop but basically, either being waterproof shoes or just accepted the fact they are going to get wet.

I will now address the reason why I partially labeled this post "armaggedon". There were SO many people on the trail today. Don't believe me, check it out.

It reminded me of a group of explorers on the Oregon Trail. Really, so, so many people.

I am of two minds about so many people. I am glad there is a place where lots of people can escape the urbanization of city life but there is a downside to this. When you finally get to the waterfall, it is a mess. So many people but also so much junk. It might go against wilderness aesthetics but man, put some trash cans out there or something.  

I am not sure what the solution is but Eaton Canyon might just being loved to death.

Still, the waterfall is pretty cool:

The trail is rather straightforward so if you are looking to get some extra challenge, might I suggest the Mt. Wilson "Toll" Road?

This is a leg busting, sun drenched side trail that can go to the Henninger Flats but I took it until it joined back up with the Eaton Trail.

It is fireroad for some:

Which eventually brings you out to some great views.

It then syncs up with another canyon trail through the brush of the kayak trails.

However, as I like to climb these type of trails going up rather than coming down them (due to the loose soil and the gentler grade coming down the other way), I would suggest climbing off the main trail when you see this sign.

Overall, so many people but some good trails. I am conflicted.

For the best-est trip report, might I suggest:

Modern Hiker: http://www.modernhiker.com/2009/04/09/hiking-eaton-canyon/

Also for the best topo map, look no further: http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/images/EatonTopo.jpg


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