TREMENDOUS ADVENTURE IN EATON CANYON
Today I went on a nature hike into Eaton Canyon, a spot at the base of Mt. Wilson in Pasadena. Living in such a major city, it's easy to forget that places like this are around us. But they are!
Cindy had to work and I didn't feel like staying at home since the weather was so nice. My neighbor had told me about a waterfall he took his daughter to in Pasadena but I couldn't remember the name of it. In trying to find it on the web, I came across Eaton Canyon and decided to check it out instead. It took less that 30 minutes to drive there from our house. I parked the car and walked toward the Nature Center which is where the park ranger sits surrounded by displays, literature and the ubiquitous donation slot. Before I got there though I saw a directory with a map. No sign of the falls but at the end of the parking lot there was a tiny arrow that said "to falls." I considered getting more explicit directions from the ranger but didn't, figuring it would have to be clearly marked. So off I went.
The hike starts out very easy with big wide paths. Soon I came upon the stream which was potentially quite wide – the river rock extended probably 50 feet across – but the waterflow itself was not very formidable. So I kept going and going and going. Following the trail became more and more of a challenge the deeper I got. The path kept ending so I had to cross back and forth across the water in order to keep moving forward. It was all rock hopping. I felt like a mountain goat. It was neat though to find that skill remaining in my body's memory after years of non-use.
The geology was amazing. HUGE rock slides. The stream would bend around and around so the rock kept revealing itself in quite the dramatic fashion. Finally, after an hour I reached Eaton Canyon Falls, a fifty foot waterfall that cuts through the rock and into a large pool of crystal clear, cold water. It was awesome. There were maybe ten other people there. I watched two young brothers swim and listened to them scream at how cold the water was. I closed my eyes for a bit and just listened to the rushing water.
I stayed for about twenty minutes and then headed back. It took me an hour to reach the falls from the car but only 40 minutes to get back. My rock hopping skills had improved to the point where I was cutting back and forth across the water quite nimbly.
Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera but I plan on returning with one later in the summer. Here's some one else's photo.