Big Dalton Canyon Trail: Gem Of The Glendora Mts

Share With Your Friends!

  • Total Miles: 2
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best Season: All Year
  • Elevation Gain: 286 ft
  • Max Elevation: 1431 ft
  • Type of Trail: Out & Back
  • Parking Lot: Fits ≈ 20 cars
  • Dogs: Allowed On A Leash
  • Restrooms: Available On The Trail
  • Trail Popularity: Moderate
  • Pics Taken On: Sept 2, 2023

Big Dalton Canyon Wilderness Park is home to a gem of a trail which is easy enough for the entire family.

The Big Dalton Canyon Trail is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The entirety of the trail follows the creek upstream through a campground, wooden bridges, amphitheaters, live oak groves, small waterfalls, and even a wooden swing. The lack of steep ridges makes it more than ideal for small children.

Looking for hikes in LA County? Check out the complete list by clicking the link below:

Los Angeles Hikes

Big Dalton Canyon Trail Map

powered by Advanced iFrame. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Big Dalton Canyon Elevation Profile

Download Printable PDF Map


Click the link to be redirected to the Big Dalton Trailhead via Google Maps.

The parking lot is a large dirt turnout located across the street from the trailhead.

Helpful Links

Weather Forecast

SoCal Adventure Pass (required to park in SoCal mountains)

Big Dalton Cn Wilderness Park Website

Big Dalton Canyon Trail

The trailhead for Big Dalton Canyon is also shared by Mystic Canyon, a short trek up to a lookout that offers views of the valley below. Since both hikes are very short, I highly recommend combining them.

Click the following link to view Mystic Canyon Trail.

Big Dalton Canyon Trailhead

Although both hikes share the same trailhead, Big Dalton Canyon Trail splits off to the right almost immediately.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of this trail. I thought it was going to be rather bland.

However, after crossing the bridge and walking underneath the trees, I was proven completely wrong.

Sycamore trees adorned the creek, and the recent rainfall made the leaves and water glisten more than usual.

About 1/4 of the way into the hike I reached the Big Dalton Canyon Campground, and once again I was very shocked.

Big Dalton Canyon Campground

An amphitheater with a fire pit known as the Rowley Wilderness Amphitheater memorialized the contributions of Gordon Rowley and his wife Norma.

Big Dalton Canyon Amphitheater

A beautiful wooden bridge arched over the creek to provide access from the dirt lot to the camp. I can definitely see why people choose to get married here.

As I made my way past the campground, a light drizzle started coming down and added to the scenery.

I spotted my first tiny waterfall when crossing this bridge.

After crossing the set of bridges, the trail led me through a stunning grove of California Coast Live Oak Trees. It reminded me of the haunted forests in movies. It was awesome.

California Coast Live Oak Grove On Big Dalton Canyon Trail

Someone had gone through the trouble of hanging a wooden swing from one of the trees.

It was at this point that I realized the trail had no trash or graffiti.

Swing At Big Dalton Canyon Trail

After walking through the grove, I came to a fork and made a right to proceed onto my first creek crossing.

Creek Crossing

Although the hike had been full of positive surprises up to this point, all things, good or bad, must come to an end. The building in the image below was once a nature center, but unfortunately, it’s been permanently closed.

Big Dalton Canyon Nature Center

It seems like most people head back after reaching the nature center because from that point forward the trail was very overgrown.

For a brief section, the trail merged with the creek, but I was able to keep my feet dry by zigzagging.

The last creek crossing was the largest, but it was nevertheless very easy to cross.

I wasn’t expecting more pleasant surprises at this point, especially since I was near the end of the trail.

However, I heard the sweetest sound a hiker can hear coming from out of the blue. The creek was gushing over a roughly 5 foot ledge as a double cascade.

Want to explore a real waterfall? Check out this 40 ft waterfall with a rockslide and swimming hole. The hike is less than 1 mile roundtrip and can be accessed by driving up Glendora Mt Road then descending into the Mt Baldy area. 

Big Dalton Canyon Trail

The trail ended at a road bridge shortly after passing the waterfall. For the way back, you have the option of returning via the trail or hopping onto Big Dalton Canyon Rd, as both lead back to the dirt parking lot.

More to Explore!

Santa Ynez Falls: Ready For Boulder Scrambling & Wading?

Santa Ynez Falls: Ready For Boulder Scrambling & Wading?

Total Miles: 2.27 Time: 1 Hr Difficulty: Moderate Best Season: Spring Elevation Gain: 206 ft Max Elevation: 798 ft Type of Trail: Out & Back Parking Lot: Street Parking Dogs: Not Allowed Restrooms: Not Available Trail Popularity: High Pics Taken On: Feb 8, 2024...

Escondido Falls: Malibu’s Best Hike

Escondido Falls: Malibu’s Best Hike

Total Miles: 3.49 Time: 1.5 Hrs Difficulty: Easy Best Season: Spring Elevation Gain: 507 ft Max Elevation: 328 ft Type of Trail: Out & Back Parking Lot: Fits ≈ 15 cars Dogs: Allowed On A Leash Restrooms: 1 Porta Potty At The Parking Lot Trail Popularity: Extremely...

Ferndell Nature Trail To Griffith Observatory Loop

Ferndell Nature Trail To Griffith Observatory Loop

Total Miles: 2.75 Time: 1-1.5 Hrs Difficulty: Easy – Moderate Best Season: All Year Elevation Gain: 632 ft Max Elevation: 1140 ft Type of Trail: Loop Parking Lot: Street Parking Dogs: Allowed On A Leash Restrooms: Available At The Observatory Trail Popularity: Very...

Riverside Trail To Vista Viewpoint: Picturesque LA Views

Riverside Trail To Vista Viewpoint: Picturesque LA Views

Total Miles: 2.46 Time: 1 Hrs Difficulty: Easy - Moderate Best Season: All Year Elevation Gain: 407 ft Max Elevation: 1062 ft Type of Trail: Out & Back Parking Lot: Fits ≈ 50 Cars Dogs: Allowed On A Leash Restrooms: Available At The Parking Lot Trail Popularity:...

Hello, There!

I’m Phillip, and just like you, I feel very passionate about California and the outdoors. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, I thought I’d share them with you. Life goes by fast so get out there and enjoy it.  

Sign Up For Bonuses

Want to stay up to date with all the latest hikes? Join our community by clicking the link button below!

Join Us On Insta!

Legal Info

We only recommend what we use. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to However, no company pays us to share these products with you. If you decide to purchase a product via one of our links, we will recieve a small compensation, which in turn, helps us to keep making videos and posts to share with all of you.