Eaton Canyon Falls

3.6 mi

 

377 elevation gain

moderate

dog-friendly (leashed)

out and back

 

First of all, those of you who knew there was water AND trees down here (so-cal) and didn't tell me, shame on you. Secondly. Hello EATON CANYON FALLS! 

So, I've recently come to the conclusion that I am a pretty habitual person. As much as I like spontaneity and adventure, I also really like knowing what I'm getting into. It's not the first time I've come to this conclusion, but when a friend suggested we try hiking something new I popped onto AllTrails (if you like to hike and don't have this app, you need it, like.. yesterday) to look for a hike and realized how much I havent seen or explored. I think a big part of my love of routine is that I recognize new things are risky, and why be risky, especially close to home, when I know there are trails I already like? But hiking Eaton Canyon Falls today was a sweet reminder that risk is almost always worth it in one way or another. 

THE HIKE

1999 Veranada Ave, Pasadena, CA 91107
377 ft elevation gain
moderate
dog-friendly (leashed)
out and back

Eaton Canyon Trail starts right outside the big, free parking lot. It's about 3.6 miles out and back, with some really great mountain views and a 40 foot waterfall at the end. I put the location for this hike as Los Angeles, but technically I think it's considered Pasadena/Alta Dena. 

We showed up at 7:30am on a Sunday, right when the parking lot opened, and I was shocked to see how many people were there and ready to hike. I definitely thought we were going to be the only people there that early, come to find out this is a really popular and well known trail. So, be ready for lots of fellow casual hikers. I honestly can't imagine what the hike would be like at a more reasonable hour, but even as heavily trafficked as it was at 8am, I'd say it was definitely worth it. 

I slapped a moderate on this bad boy because there is a fair amount of traversing back and forth across the creek that comes down from the falls, but if you do any sort of physical activity I would say this trail could pass as easy. The hardest part for someone who knows how to hike would probably be keeping your shoes dry. It can get a bit hairy in some area's with boulder hopping, but I found the traversing to be a lot of fun on an otherwise easy hike. The scenery was beautiful; sometimes I forget that trees exist down here. 

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The trail itself is pretty straightforward. Follow the large groups of people. Kidding, sort of. The only real note I have is when you get to the bridge (which is pretty dang cool) look for the trail marker on the right side before you cross the bridge. My friend and I were talking and we totally missed it, climbed the big hill to the street and looked at each other super confused, like, was that it? where the crap is the waterfall? hah.. So, bridge. Keep your eyes open! 

While the hike isn't the most intensive the payoff is totally worth it, provided you go when there is water. The waterfall, which is actually pretty impressive, was a refreshing sight and the prince LOVED running through the clear water at the base of the falls. There were people sitting around, enjoying and snapping photos. We didn't stay long, but even now as I write this it feels kind of magical to know there are beautiful waterfalls hidden in the mountains just outside my routine. 

happy hiking, beauts
xx

 

 

Exploring The Black Mountains

The United Kingdom has long been a dream destination in my mind. My fascination started at a young age, rooted in my love of legend and lore. Stories like The Arthurian Tales sparked a hunger in me for whatever lay hidden in the silver fog; be it wisps, or druids. So you can imagine the deep delight in me when I had the opportunity to catch a train from London out to the mysterious land of Wales. 

Everything on this trip seemed to fall into place without my help. Previous to leaving for the UK I found out a friend of mine would be in wales during my time in Britain. It seemed only right that I would venture to meet her, and it felt fitting to be gearing up to explore the great land of wales with someone who, so long ago, inspired me through her role as a character in a great, sweeping, epic-fantasy tv show. 

After navigating the train from London to Wales, and being picked up at the station by a beautiful, and lovely stranger (a friend of my friends) we embarked on the journey back to her cottage where my friend awaited our arrival. The trip to her home was everything I could have dreamed. The fog was thick, and the land wet. We zipped along narrow roads in her jeep like vehicle. Her car smelled of Bella, her old sweet black haired dog who confidently claimed a spot on my lap (which I was grateful for on so many levels). The woman herself, Mary, was kind and talkative, making me feel welcome, safe and at home. 

It's funny to think back now about my experience with people, and how we are met. Mary, much my senior, in a beautiful way, oozed strength. She was grounded and wise in a way that words can't capture. Part of me believes it stems from the time she spends walking the ridges of the sweet valley she calls home. She seemed to have sapped up every bit of depth and texture the land could offer. It was from of that place that she impacted me during my stay. She made sure I was warm and fed and went out of her way to facilitate exploration. 

Even though I had come into the valley under the cover of night, I wasn't sure it could get any better. My heart was already so full. But it did. Waking up the next morning was something out of a dream. The room was warm, thanks to the old school wall heater, and soft light filtered in through the skylight above my bed. I padded downstairs and found both Mary and my friend awake, tea-filled, and ready to explore. It took me but a minute to layer myself down, and pull on my boots all the while gushing inside over the fact that this land was exactly what I had dreamed it would be. 

Both women laughed as I tried to contain my awe. They told me that they, neither of them, had ever seen the land like this (so covered in fog). I like to believe that God orchestrated it just for me.

Mary and Bella led the way down the muddy drive, past the sheep which my friend insisted on singing to, through the ancient graveyard thick with history to the outer reaches of The Black Mountains. Aside from a small farm we passed through, the transition from inhabited to wild land was nearly seamless. One moment we were on cobblestone and the next we were trudging through the forest which gave way to a vast and magical land. 

The breadth and scope of The Black Mountains would be hard to relay through words alone, so I will leave it to pictures. But, there is no denying the tangible magic of that place. I wandered in silence, yards behind my friends, soaking up the fulfillment of something I'd held in my heart for so long.