Eaton Canyon

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Eaton Canyon refers to both Eaton Canyon proper (best known for canyoneering), and the surrounding vicinity. It is located just a few miles away from Caltech.

Eaton Canyon area

The area around Eaton Canyon is a park run by the County of Los Angeles. The Eaton Canyon Nature Center Associates have a webpage with information on hikes and a crude black and white trail map. There is a nature center at the trailhead.

The hikes they list are:

  • Bridge to Toll Road, 1.1 miles north of the nature center.
  • Henninger Flats. There are 3 routes, between 2.7 and 3.5 miles.
  • Mount Wilson, with three major routes (8.7 to 9.5 miles)
  • Eaton Canyon falls (see the canyoneering section below), which is about 1.5 miles from the nature center, or .4 miles if you parked at the bridge.
  • Smaller trails (see ECNCA website for details).

More info

Canyoneering in Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon is a Southern California canyoneering classic: slides into pools, mandatory swims, big rappels, and beautiful lush scenery.

The canyon is extremely rugged and, although not far from civilization, very isolated thanks to its steep walls. There is no cell phone reception. Take a water filter, a headlamp for every person in your party, enough layers to stay warm, and enough food to keep you going. I always take mylar blankets in case I have to spend the night. (It should be in your med kit already!)

While not technically hard, the canyon requires a high level of commitment: Beginners should try Rubio or San Antonio Falls first. Plan on no more than 4 people per rope in order to speed things up.

Keep in mind that the canyons have changed (and continue to change) after the Station Fire. Most of the old pools are filled in above the second to last falls. (i.e. before the long flat stretch through the forest). To see a comparison of the pools before and after the fire, see: this picture

For a group of 4-5 fit people with canyon experience, I would plan on no less than 9 hours for the entire trip.

Details for the trip can be found at:

Maps

Topo map showing the trails near Mt Wilson

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="34.186104" lon="-118.082771" type="terrain" zoom="14"> 34.195819, -118.022229, Chantry Flats trailhead 34.170121, -118.049239, Mt Wilson trail trailhead 34.17424, -118.061942, vicinity of another Sierra Madre trailhead 34.176044, -118.096617, Eaton Canyon trailhead </googlemap>

See Also