Cities less traveled: Pasadena’s Gorgeous Eaton Canyon

Our regular readers probably know by now that Chris and I like traveling to unusual places that are a little bit off the beaten tourist path. We have been dreaming about traveling to California for a while now and when I did some research about possible places to go in California, I came across a little gem called Pasadena.

Pasadena is a city 10 miles northeast of Los Angeles and while there are lots of things to do within the city, such as its famous New Year’s Rose Parade, the stunning Huntington library, or the beautiful botanical gardens, it also the perfect spot for hiking enthusiasts like ourselves. Just outside of Pasadena, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, lies the Eaton Canyon Natural Area. It is a nature preserve that is 190 acres big and boasts stunning zoological, botanical, and geological sights.

Hike Up and Down the Canyon

Hiking in the Eaton Canyon is beautiful, and there are various hikes available. For a longer hike, you can hike up and down the canyon which takes about four hours in total. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Pasadena and even Los Angeles. You can also stop inside the visitor center, and check out the diorama and artifacts.

Swim at the Eaton Canyon Waterfall

For a shorter hike you can head to the Eaton Canyon Falls. The 40 ft. waterfall tumbles into a wide pool that is the perfect spot for cooling off after the four-mile hike. The hike is fairly easy, but it gets a little more rugged with lots of boulders the closer you get to the waterfall. There are also several stream crossings, but the hike should be manageable for most people. The proximity of the falls to civilization means that sadly, during the weekend, there will be quite a few local hikers and families. It is still worth a visit despite the crowds though, especially during the spring when thousands of wildflowers carpet the lower portions of the canyon floor.

Go for a Moonlight Walk

If you completely want to beat the crowds though there are two other options: you can visit during the week which sees far less visitors or you can take part in a night walk. Moonlight Walks are held in the spring and summer on Friday nights, usually closest to the full moon, as a full moon will light the path better. The night hike begins at 19:30, and it will offer you a completely different view of the canyon. You will also be able to see the spectacular lights of LA, which has something really romantic about it, I think.

What to bring: Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring plenty of water (no glass bottles)

To get to the trailhead: Take the Altadena exit off the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. Head north on Altadena Drive and the Eaton Canyon Nature Area is two miles up the road on the right past New York Drive. The trailhead coordinates are: 34.177202, -118.096485 (34° 10′ 37.92″N 118° 05′ 47.34″W)


Disclaimer: This post is part of the #‎HipmunkCityLove project. I am a Freelancer for Hipmunk and was compensated to write this article.

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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

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