Friday, April 23, 2010

Hike 50: Eaton Canyon Falls.

Yep, half way to my goal for the year. I can't believe it.

Hiked Thursday, Apr 22. Three miles.

Yesterday's weather was iffy, to say the least. The forecast was for showers, so I knew if I went hiking, it would have to be short and low--someplace where I could get out of the rain if it started to really come down.

By noon, I concluded (incorrectly, it turns out!) that the rain would hold off for at least a few more hours. I went across the street to see if my neighbor (who had indicated a few weeks back that he'd be game for some hiking) was free. He was, so we both headed up to the Eaton Canyon Nature Center (Altadena Blvd, just north of New York). I've previously mentioned this is my closest access point to the San Gabriel Mountains.

When I got there, I was a little surprised to find the water in the lower wash was high as it was. I didn't think it rained much the day before. It took a few minutes of poking around before we found a good place to cross the wash and get on the north side of the wash. Then we headed mostly west, to the falls.

Although I've hiked this falls many times, I still don't know the exact number of crossings involved. The first crossing is just after you walk under the Mount Wilson Toll Road Bridge. The last time I did this hike, crossing over on a downed tree was the only reasonable way across. Today, you also had a possibly boulder-hopping route. But the tree still seemed the easiest way to stay dry. I'm happy to say I made that crossing both ways and managed to maintain my balance enough to stay dry.

I also managed to make the other crossings with nothing more than the bottom of my shoes touching the water. I'm still not nearly as sure of my balance as I used to be, but the falls was much more accessible than my trip in February.

Water was also lower, though still running strong for Eaton Canyon.

On the return trip, I decided to try crossing to the south side of Eaton Canyon wash closer to the bridge. In retrospect, this was a mistake. The trail up there is much less defined than it is if you just have the patience to stay on the "real" trail.

Meanwhile, the rain that started as an intermittent drizzle was becoming pretty steady. My sweater was just about soaked through by the time I got back to the car.

Still, hey, it was Earth Day. It seemed like it would have been a shame to let the day go by without doing something to recognize the occasion.

Broom in full bloom, beneath Eaton Canyon and under April showers.


  1. Congrats at reaching the halfway point! I enjoy reading your recaps. Happy Trails!

  2. Thanks! Got here faster than I thought, which is the unfortunate side effect of being unemployed much longer than I thought I would be.