Millard Falls Trail: An Easy Waterfall Hike for Everyone

May 17, 2021

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1.2 Miles


~1 Hr




All Year

Elevation Gain

308 Ft

Millard Falls is a classic, local favorite hike that’s both easy and fun. It’s a short, yet rewarding hike to a fascinating waterfall if you go at the right time of year. Now that Millard Canyon Falls is open, I recommend going in case it closes down again in the future!

Millard Canyon Falls is an easy, 1.2-mile hike located near Altadena, California. The trail features a 50-foot waterfall and creek crossings. It’s a child-friendly and dog-friendly hike. 

Trail Map of Millard Canyon Falls

Directions & Parking

Here is a link to the parking lot directions and address.

There’s plenty of parking, but can be impossible to find parking on weekends during waterfall season.

Thankfully, there’s a restroom near the Millard Campground, passing the “trailhead” and trail directional signs.

The Hike

The hike technically begins past the Millard Campground, but I consider the starting point to be right by the parking lot.

There are signs pointing to Millard Falls straight ahead, and Dawn Mine trail to the right.

I have the Dawn Mine hike posted in the “Ruins” section of the blog, in case you want to check it out! Plus, I have an extra open-access mine/tunnel in that post.

Passing Millard Campground, I had to climb over this stone wall. This is where the actual short journey begins.

I was here on a gloomy day, which was nice because it felt very shaded but a bit chilly in the morning.

The trail is mostly narrow and rocky as it goes through the canyon walls.

At this point, I was almost to the falls and could hear a few people.

After some creek crossings, I was at the falls!

Unfortunately, this year’s dry season hasn’t allowed Millard Falls to be flowing with lots of water.

But, it’s still very nice to look at nonetheless.

I like that there’s a large boulder at the top. It’s perfectly lodged between the canyon walls, giving it a unique look.

I also appreciate how well-kept the trail is, with little to no vandalism.

This is a really beautiful 50-foot waterfall that’s especially nice during the spring months after heavy rainfall or a good snow melt.

I hope you enjoy this trail as much as I did!

History of Millard Canyon

Some of the very first people to settle along the Arroyo Seco and Millard Canyon were the Hahamong’nas. This tribe used the Arroyo Seco as a major trade route and resource.

Over the decades, more settlers arrived from Europe and other areas. Many cabins were built, which you can see some of the remnants today. It later became a hotspot area for prospectors and miners.

You might be wondering, where did Millard Canyon get its name from? Well, it used to be called Church Canyon but was then named after Henry W. Millard, who came along in 1862.

He stayed in the area for many years with his family. He hauled timber and raised bees here. After his wife’s and daughter’s death, he left to reside in Downey, CA.

Recommended Gear

  • Trailbuddy Trekking Poles These can be useful for crossing the creek and can give you extra stability. I use these all the time and truly love them!

Nearby Attractions

Millard Campground

After the hike, feel free to have a picnic at the Millard Campground area. Or, you can bring a tent and camp out for a multi-day hike to Millard Falls, Dawn Mine, Inspiration Point, and Mount Lowe.

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Hello, There!

We’re Monica and Phillip. Just like you, we share a passion for the outdoors and our beautiful state of California. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, we thought we’d share them with you! We hope this blog shows you tons of new CA adventures!