Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hiking with the rug rats (Millard Canyon Falls)

What's so great about it? The hike up to Millard Canyon Falls is less than a mile long, alongside a trickling creek, under the shade of oaks, eucalyptus, cypress and who knows what other trees. Follow the well-worn single-track trail up the creek bed, crossing the stream about a dozen times, and before you know it you'll be looking up at a 60-foot waterfall.
Kids will love this hike because it's short, involves jumping over an ankle-deep creek and remains cool even on the hottest summer days.
No, there is not enough water for kids to swim in. For that, I recommend Eaton Canyon Falls, a three-mile hike just down the road along Altadena Road. (A post on Eaton Canyon is coming soon.)
What to expect: The falls will be crowded on weekends. Start early to avoid the crowds. Also, to park at the lot at the trail head you need a national forest parking pass. The park rangers don't check often but if they do and you don't have a pass, you'll get nailed.
Directions: From the 210 freeway, take the Lake Avenue exit north until it ends and turn left on Alta Loma Drive. Continue until you see a flashing yellow light overhead. Turn right on Chaney Road. Continue until it ends in a parking lot. From the lot, follow the trail toward Millard Canyon campground. After you pass the campground, the trail will head to the right along the creek bed.
(photo credit: me)

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