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Backpacker Magazine – September 2010

Top 3 Waterslide Hikes: Eaton Canyon, CA

Climb high and then plunge deep on this hike in Southern California.

by: Gigi Ragland

Just a half-hour from Los Angeles, in Angeles National Forest, this four-mile hike to Eaton Canyon leads to a 35-foot heart-pumper of a waterslide. Take Eaton Canyon Falls Trail from the nature center and start up an easy 1.1-mile climb along a fire road to the Mt. Wilson Toll Road Bridge. Descend to single-track below and follow it up a streambed through a narrow gorge with oaks and alders hugging the sides. At 1.5 miles, the falls come into view. Passing this way in 1877, John Muir likened the cascade to “a silver instrument in a velvet case.” The falls’ watery roar grows ever louder as you cross two more streams. Get psyched: A short-and-steep rock chute ends with a free fall down the cascade. 

Try Pizza Joe’s Gondola Pizza (an open calzone with eggs, ham, cheese, and olives). (626) 797-1081;

The Way
From Los Angeles, take CA 110 north for eight miles. Turn onto S. Arroyo Pkwy., drive 1.3 miles, and turn right onto E. Colorado Blvd. In 2.6 miles, turn left at N. Sierra Madre Blvd., then left at N. Altadena Dr. Turn right into the Nature Area.

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Reader Rating: -


Cris Mateski
Aug 18, 2011

It has been a rough season up there this year. A few fatalities, lots of rescues. Probably not the best time to be advertising this area. The issues have mostly been unprepared people ignoring common sense and over estimating their ability.

Cris Mateski
Aug 18, 2011

Been a rough season in Eaton Canyon, comes down to the unprepared, ignoring common sense


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