Suzy is right, We used to live in Pasadena and Eaton Canyon was a great respite from the city... just a couple of miles away. Another is hiking up the Arroyo Seco from JPL in northwest Pasadena. Easy hiking and beautiful oaks line the creek. Watch out for horse poop and mountain bikers, though.
Cascades, Punchbowls and Pools - 2010
Eaton Canyon Falls
There is something about a waterfall: Its hypnotic movement and meditative white noise, its irresistible pull as you draw near, the sound growing from hiss to rumble. L.A. is surrounded by dozens of waterfalls. Some of the best are also the most easily accessed: John Muir described Eaton Canyon Falls as “a charming little thing, with a voice sweet as a songbird’s.” An easy mile-and-a-half ramble up the Eaton Wash leads to this deliciously cool resting spot full of reflected light. 1750 N. Altadena Dr., Pasadena. ecnca.org. The spirit of the San Gabriels surely resides in Fish Canyon, with its impressive 80-foot, four-tiered falls and spectacular vistas. Hikers can only access the trailhead seasonally by shuttle through the Azusa Rock Quarry. 3901 Fish Canyon Rd., Duarte. azusarock.com. Enchantment lingers all about the cunningly segmented Solstice Canyon Falls; every stone, step and tree seem to have been placed there by elves. The shady 3-mile loop starts at the end of Corral Canyon Road, Malibu. nps.gov/samo/photosmultimedia/solsticecyn waterfall.htm. An easy 0.8-mile stroll through the emphatically green forests of Monrovia Canyon leads to a charming 30-foot fan of water that splays across smooth granite, to end in a shallow pool at your feet. 1001 N. Canyon Blvd., Monrovia. cityofmonrovia.org/community-life/parks/342-monrovia-canyon-park. Visit LAMountains.com and LocalHikes.com for excellent directions. Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press) and Day Hiker’s Guide to Southern California by John McKinney (Olympus Press) contain useful information for new and experienced hikers alike. —Suzy Beal