This trail is currently closed due to damages from the 2009 Station Fire

Millard Falls San Gabriel Mountains Waterfall Hike Pasadena California trail

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
Millard Canyon

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.

Millard Falls
Millard 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 create your own directions:

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Photos

Millard Falls
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Dawn Mine
Millard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard CanyonMillard Canyon
Millard Campground
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These photos were taken in March of 2009. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Dawn Mine trailDawn Mine
This 6-mile hike from Millard Campground leads past Millard Falls to an old gold mine.
Rubio Canyon Trail Los AngelesRubio Canyon Trail
This 1.3-mile round trip hike ventures into a rustic canyon to a double waterfall.
Angeles trailMore trails in the San Gabriel Mountains
Explore other destinations in the range.
Similar Trail
fish canyon fallsFish Canyon Falls
This 4-mile hike starts at a rock quarry with restricted access and ends up at a multi-tiered 80-foot waterfall.
sturtevant Waterfall trailSturtevant Falls
This 3.25-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
pasadena Waterfall trailEaton Canyon Falls
This 3.5-mile hike goes up Eaton Wash to a narrow stretch of Eaton Canyon containing a pleasant 40-foot waterfall.
Waterfall trailSan Antonio Falls
This 1.4-mile hike visits a multi-tier waterfall along the trail to Mount Baldy.
Waterfall trailSanta Ynez Falls
This 2.5-mile follows a shaded creek to a gorge containing a short waterfall.
waterfall trailParadise Falls
This 40-foot waterfall is located within Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks and is reachable via several trails.
escondido fallsEscondido Falls
This 3.8-mile out and back hike visits a 200 foot waterfall that is split into two tiers. The upper tier is 150 feet tall and stunning after a rainstorm.
los angeles waterfallMore waterfalls around Los Angeles
Explore other waterfalls in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains.
Camping
Millard CampgroundMillard Campground
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.

13 Comments on Millard Falls in the San Gabriel Mountains

  1. Cali says:

    Could you please tell me as soon as possible if this information on Millard Trail being closed is correct? Plannning on taking a bunch of children on hike tomorrow July Tenth. Thankyou.

    • hikespeak says:

      Hi Cali-
      Millard Canyon is still within the closure area of the Station Fire. You may call a ranger to confirm, but I believe it is still closed.

  2. Audrey says:

    Called to check 8/21/2012: Still Closed.

  3. lonnie fehr says:

    as off sept 15 2012 , all of millard creek closed from millard campground all way past dawn gold mine . via taking sunset trail , once your in millard creek your in closure area also . dawn gold mine is also in closure area .

  4. B Mac says:

    As of 01/02/13, Millard falls trail is closed to hiking. It’s cr#ppy that the forest service hasn’t posted a sign saying this at vehicle entrance or parking lot. So you most likely bought a day pass to park, unloaded your gear, started walking up the road (past Chester’s double wide) to the water line, and up to a fence with a sign saying “trail closed due to fire damage”.
    The tiny Camp/ picnic area (non-potable water) is available. Camping there isn’t great since it’s right along the trail that goes up to the fenced off area of the Fall’s trail. So you are going to get alot of people walking past you, looking at you, and asking YOU about why the trail is closed.
    There is a camp ground chester that lives onsite to monitor the parking lot and “other activities”. So don’t try to park in the parking lot without a day pass. He will ride his ten speed down in a blaze of glory to your spot and call a tow on your vehicle.
    BTW:It is a felony to punch him in the face, so don’t do it. He has direct comms with the Sheriff’s down the road. It isn’t worth ruining your weekend.
    Day passes can be bought at any ranger stations or Big 5, sports chalet, etc. for a couple bucks. The campsite chester can be identified by the double wide trailer located at the right of the trail, next to the camp site. He has a hidden video camera (hidden by a tarp or pieces of wood) that looks onto the camp site. Did I mention that the camp site is mainly used by cub scouts?
    Thanks to the park rangers for looking out for us.

    • E says:

      B Mac – I’m planning a scout camping trip to Millard. Is there any hiking available from Millard or are you pretty much trapped in confines of the camp?

      • hikespeak says:

        Millard Canyon is still closed following the Station Fire. I spoke to a ranger last week who said that the campground was still closed as well, although it is not listed as closed on the Angeles NF website. You will probably have a better trip camping elsewhere…

        • James says:

          We just camped there and not a cub scout in sight :) Actually pretty quiet. The trails up to Mt. Lowe Road (Lower Sunset Ridge Trail) and beyond that up to the Saddle and Sunset Ridge Trail were all open. Lots of mountain bikers but they were all very respectful, carefull and polite. Every one said thank you when we stood aside. We camped and hiked mid week-though it was a Spring Break- and less than half the sites were occupied. It will probably be busier at weekends and now that it’s warmer. The high country sites were due to open April 1st. Sulphur Springs was supposed to be open year round but the roads were all closed even though it was dry as a bone and not a speck of snow so you can’t go by what it says on the Forest Service site as noted above.

    • lion says:

      caretaker at millard has no 10 speed bike or a double wide trailer lol and they do not tow away vehicles if not have a pass ,and there is no camera on the campers in campgrounds . and yes waterfall area is closed yet as so is all area in millard creek from campground even dawn gold mine closed , , but the campgrounds are open to camp . hiking can hike on fire road /campground for miles brown mnt fire road , . another close campground is gould mesa hike in , , yes b mac altadena LA sheriffs dept is closeby , and USFS law enforcement also patrol area ,,,,,

  5. steve says:

    UPDATE Dawn Gold Mine and Millard Falls are still in the closure area – no hiking, etc. – update as of June 1st, 2013. Area will remain closed for up to 1 more year.

  6. John says:

    Hi I’m a local that camps here 14 days out of every year.The falls are closed and will not open again from what the ranger tells me every year, but the campgrounds hiking and bike trails are still one

  7. As of May 5, 2014, trail to Millard Falls and Dawn Mine still closed, 5 years after the Station Fire. I think this is disgraceful. Somebody should force the issue.

  8. Terry says:

    Any update on the re-opening of the trail? This is a great time of the year for hiking…let’s get it open!

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