Walk Distance: 1.9km / 1.2 miles
Walk Duration: 2hrs at preschool pace with picnic/paddling time.
Map: Tom Harrison Maps – Mt. Wilson
Suitable for: Kids in carriers (but note there are creek crossings and some trail areas that require a mild amount of balancing/climbing), good little walkers, older kids. Not suitable for strollers and allow extra time for very little legs – whilst they will enjoy the creek walk, they may need an extra hand from time to time.
Walk Features: Creekside hiking, creek crossings, waterfall, boulders for kids to clamber/slide on, shady. N.b. this hike is in black bear country – don’t let it stop you but be bear aware! Also check conditions after very heavy or extended rain – the normally gentle creek can become a rushing torrent unsuitable for hiking across, particularly with kids.
“The Millard Falls Hike is a fun family outing and great on a hot day. The trail is relatively short (although it can feel longer as it winds backwards and forwards across the creek) and follows the creek the whole way, allowing for plenty of paddling..
This hike is unsuitable for strollers due to the uneven trail, creek crossings and some easy clambering round the occasional boulder. Most little legs will manage the route with a little help and time. Kids will enjoy looking for wildlife in the creek, sliding down some well-polished boulders or practicing their scrambling skills along the way!
Millard Falls is best after rain, with the large boulder wedged in the top of the falls adding interest. Bring water shoes, a towel and a picnic – you’ll want to linger. As with all waterfalls, be wary of dislodged stones bouncing down from above the falls.”
The hike starts from the Millard Creek & Campground parking lot. Walk back up the road or dirt side trail as far as the first bend, following signs for the campground. The trail starts on the left here on a wide dirt track.
Follow the trail through the campground (where you will find a basic restroom) and continue on until your reach the ford at the creek. Turn right here onto the narrower hiking trail.
From here, it is just a case of following the dirt trail along the creek. The trail is shaded the whole way making for lovely cool walking in hot weather, although the waterfall is unlikely to be very impressive in the hottest months.
During springtime or after rain you should be prepared for multiple creek crossings.
In very dry weather it is more a case of just following the stream bed most of the way, apart from one section half way along where the main trail winds up above and slightly away from the creek for a short distance.
The falls make a pleasant spot for a snack/picnic stop and some paddling before returning along the same route you hiked in on.
Map of Route:
To get to the parking lot for the Millard Falls Hike, take Chaney Trail road off West Loma Alta Drive in Altadena. Follow Chaney Trail as it winds up into the mountains, passing the small parking lot for the Sunset Ridge trail on your right. The road drops steeply down into the canyon, with the parking lot at the end of the road down to the left. Closest freeway is the 210.
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