Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Eaton Canyon Falls from Altadena Crest Trail (Tanoble Access)

Well, I got something on Blogger, telling me they were changing the layout.  I ignored it as long as I could, but now they are mandating the new interface.  No me gusta.

I hadn't been up to Eaton Canyon in quite a while  Normally it's a winter or spring visit, when the water is high.  This year, right about when I was thinking of kicking my hiking into high gear, COVID-19 came along. Initially, when the early, "hard" lockdown came out, I figured, sure, I'll wait it out.  But it continued, and the lockdown softened.

Last week, my sister asked about hiking to Eaton Falls, so I did some investigating.  I wondered if the controlled access at the nature center also applied if you came in from Pinecrest Drive.  I had heard that Pinecrest access up to Henninger Flats was open, for example.  So I drove on up to Pinecrest Drive after work on Wednesday, August 5.  Pinecrest (and the other non-nature center access, off of Altadena Drive) were closed, with a sign saying "indefinitely."

So I went with Plan B, which was the Altadena Crest Trail.  Hadn't been on this trail in a while, either.  Figured I'd come in from Tanoble Drive, and walk east, to the terminus, when the Altadena Crest Trail hits the Old Mount Wilson Toll Road.  Looks like I've done this trail before.  Well, I've probably done it more than once, but that particular trip is the first one that comes up on my blog.

This route is a hilly route, so it's a pretty good workout, as you walk the urban-forest interface.  It's 1.25 miles from the Tanoble Access to the Toll Road, so 2.5 miles roundtrip.

You spend the entire distance overlooking Altadena and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley.  DTLA was also visible, as were a couple of inversion layers.
When you approach Eaton Canyon, you overlook both the lower Toll Road, that would continue up to Henninger, then on to Mount Wilson, and the County trail that goes back to the nature center.

Crossing the bridge and looping to the right and under puts you into Eaton Canyon.  Head on up the Canyon for a bit less than a mile.  The falls were fine.  And the route was blessedly empty.  Clearly, not everyone was getting there the way I got there, but apparently few were  outright breaking the rule on access from Altadena Drive, and access from the nature center was already cutoff.  Only saw about eight people on my hike, this day.


  1. I take the bus from Arcadia to Altadena Dr/Porter then enter via Tanoble. From Altadena Crest Trail to Eaton Canyon you encounter some difficult areas, especially if you're mountain biking, but the views & workouts are worth it. It rained last night so hopefully there's solid footing for my ride later today.

    1. Definitely some steep and narrow sections along the Altadena Crest trail! Thanks for the comment!