Hiking Eaton Canyon – An Active Kid’s Paradise

Tucked away in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Eaton Canyon is a gorgeous nature area comprised of 190 acres, offering everything from nature walks and environmental educational programs to hiking and stunning waterfalls.

Hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with a toddler
Eaton Canyon Waterfall

During the summer, you can find us at Eaton Canyon at least once a month! It’s such a great hike for kids. There are two different places you can start from to get to the waterfall. If you want to hike the entire 3+ mile loop, then start at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center located at 1750 North Altadena Drive, Altadena, CA 91001. If you want to get to the waterfall quicker to have more time to relax on the rocks and splash in the water, then cut the hike in half by starting at the Pincrest Gate Entrance. To get to the Pinecrest Gate drive past the Eaton Canyon Nature Park main entrance, heading north on Altadena Drive about a mile. Turn Right on Crescent, then right again on Pinecrest and be careful to observe street parking signs carefully!

Hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with a toddler
Gorgeous Eaton Canyon Trail

We have done the hike starting at both entrances and prefer the Pinecrest Gate Entrance because you get in to the most scenic parts of the hike quicker. Descending the large fire road down, you’ll walk the large bridge which crosses the Eaton Canyon Creek bed. Just at the other end of the bridge, the trail dips down and around doing an almost 180, bringing you underneath the bridge and in to the canyon proper.

Hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with a toddler
Creek Crossings!

Eaton is a gorgeous, towering canyon full of tons of wildlife, half a dozen small creek crossings and tons of little people-sized boulders to scramble over, perfect for kids of all ages to navigate and explore!

Hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with a toddler
Small Boulder Scrambling!

You don’t even have to make it all the way to the waterfall to enjoy some water play! There are several great places to stop along the way for a quick water break or a full blown lunch under the shady canopy of trees.

Hiking Eaton Canyon Falls with a toddler
Mid-Hike Snack!

Make sure to bring an extra change of clothes, socks, a bathing suit and even towels because this is, for sure, a wet and wild hike!


10 thoughts on “Hiking Eaton Canyon – An Active Kid’s Paradise

  1. I've never been hiking before! These are some tips I could certainly use for when I go. My husband would like to go one day. We also want to visit the Grand Canyon now that we are in the same state as this wonderful landmark! I always enjoy reading your posts, Jen. πŸ™‚


  2. Just found your blog! Love it! We live in LA too, gonna do this hike this weekend for the first time. What kind of shoes do you wear? What about your kiddo? Thanks! Finding so many new places thru this blog! Xx Jen


  3. Hi Jen! So glad you found us! Can't wait to hear how the hike was!

    My hiking boots are merrell's. I wear the high tops for extra ankle support. My 3 year old also has Merrells, which I bought used and in perfect condition on craigslist for $10. She also has a pair of the keen newport, which is a waterproof shoe, perfect for hikes like eaton where the kids are doing water crossings.

    Have a blast!


  4. Thanks for the advice! Went this morning and had a blast. I already owned a pair of keen sandals (best ever) and got my hubby and toddler a pair. They spent most of the time in the water walking up stream. I had our two month old strapped to my chest, it was easy enough for us as a fam but still exciting. There were so many people there this morning. Anyway, thanks for making it happen, did not know this place was here until I found your blog! X Jen


  5. Yay!! So awesome Jen! I am working on getting an interactive map on the site, but until then, search our site for these other great kid-friendly hikes: Ernest E. Debs, Malibu Creek, Monrovia Falls, Charlie Turner Trail, Bronson Caves, Franklin Canyon and coming up in 2 weeks, we'll be spotlighting Topanga State Park! All really great places for the kiddos to explore!! Have fun!!


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