5.4 miles round-trip; moderate
Alternate: Eaton Canyon Falls Trails
Enter Eaton Canyon through the Pinecrest gate, walk down into the canyon and head up the clearly visible dirt road. Head up to Henninger Flats, site of the L.A. County Experimental Forestry Nursery. The nursery produces tree seedlings (Monterey pine, cedar, Sequoia, knobcone pine) to reforest the San Gabriels after fires. There’s a visitor’s center, campground, water and picnic areas set among fine old trees. This is a fire-road hike, not a trail, and it gets a lot of sun, so it’s best in the cooler months or early on summer mornings. On a clear day, you’ll see forever!
For an easier alternate, stay on the Eaton Canyon trail, after entering off of Altadena drive by the nature center and follow the sign for Eaton Canyon Falls. This is a kid-friendly 1.5 mile walk to a high, narrow waterfall that is particularly robust in winter and spring.
Driving Directions: Go north on Altadena Dr. from either the 210 Freeway or your Pasadena location. Turn right on Crescent. Turn right on Pinecrest. You’ll see a gate to the trail entrance on the right; park on a side street. To get to the Eaton Canyon Falls hike, park at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center at 1750 N. Altadena Drive.
Hiking Directions: From the Pinecrest gate, walk down into the canyon, across the bridge, and up the Mt. Wilson Toll Road 2.7 miles to Henninger Flats.