Millard Falls is just half a mile from the trailhead, up one of the most pleasant canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. Embark up a dirt road through Millard Campground. Just beyond the campground, the trail up the canyon turns off to the right. The trail is easy to spot, located along a creek that spills over the dirt road. If there is a strong flow of water, you are in luck. The falls above will be spectacular. If the water is so high that you would be afraid to cross the road in a sedan, use the same caution before heading to the falls (the trek may be wetter than you bargained for). On most days, you can make it to the falls with dry feet. Then again, you will have to cross over several slippery rocks, so be careful.
Millard Canyon is fairly narrow, measuring less than a hundred feet across in most areas. Getting to the waterfall requires numerous creek crossings as the trail searches for room up the canyon. Smooth-walking sections are interspersed between rock-hopping regions. Enjoy this calisthenics workout under the shade of tall California bays.
The clear creek waters glisten in patches of sunlight, creating a serene ambiance. Even the ubiquitous carvings that desecrate most of the bays on the trail cannot detract from the splendor of the journey. Let the fresh air fill your lungs while the soothing water sings in your ears. The creek is a delight, and the falls are a tremendous sight. Keep to the canyon, and no matter your path, you will reach the falls.
The boulders wedged atop this fifty-footer look like they could fall the next time the creek floods. They haven’t budged in years, and lets hope then never do.
If the first half mile of canyon leaves you yearning for more, there is the option to extend the hike. The trail continues above the falls to Dawn Mine, a highly recommended excursion.
To get to the trailhead: Take the 210 freeway to Pasadena. Exit Lake Avenue and head north. After 3.5 miles, turn left at the T onto Loma Alta Drive. After one mile, make a right on Chaney Trail. The 1.5 mile road winds up to Sunset Ridge and down to the parking lot for Millard Campground and the trail to Millard Falls.
Trailhead address: Chaney Trail, Angeles National Forest, Altadena, CA 91001
Trailhead coordinates: 34.216185, -118.146653 (34° 12′ 58.26″N 118° 08′ 47.95″W)
Use the map below to view the trail and get directions:
This 6-mile hike from Millard Campground leads past Millard Falls to an old gold mine.
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This is the place to camp at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Or, the place to start on a hike to Millard Falls or Dawn Mine.