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  • Shawn Kocab

Eaton Canyon Nature Center: A Hidden Gem in Pasadena, California

Updated: May 19, 2023

When it comes to exploring nature and experiencing the outdoors in Southern California, there's no shortage of options. From the mountains to the coast, there are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring. One hidden gem that's worth a visit is the Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena, California.

Introduction Eaton Canyon Nature Center is located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and is a part of the Angeles National Forest. The center is a gateway to the Eaton Canyon Natural Area, a 190-acre area that's home to a diverse array of wildlife and plant species. The nature center itself is a hub for education and exploration, with interactive exhibits, a live animal collection, and knowledgeable staff who can help visitors make the most of their visit.

History of Eaton Canyon Nature Center Eaton Canyon Nature Center has a rich history dating back to the 1800s, when the land was first used for ranching and farming. In the early 1900s, the Eaton Canyon Reservoir was built to provide water for the growing city of Pasadena. The land around the reservoir was eventually designated as a natural area and the nature center was established in 1977.

Things to Do at Eaton Canyon Nature Center There are plenty of things to see and do at Eaton Canyon Nature Center. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Hiking One of the main draws of Eaton Canyon Nature Center is the extensive trail system that runs through the natural area. The trails range in difficulty from easy to strenuous, so there's something for every level of hiker. Some of the most popular hikes include the Eaton Canyon Trail to the waterfall and the Henninger Flats Trail.

Wildlife Watching Eaton Canyon Natural Area is home to a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, and a wide range of bird species. Visitors can observe these animals in their natural habitat and learn about their behaviors and habitats from the nature center's staff.

Live Animal Exhibits The nature center is home to a variety of live animals, including snakes, lizards, and birds of prey. Visitors can get up close and personal with these animals and learn about their unique adaptations and behaviors.

Educational Exhibits The nature center features a variety of interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the natural history of the San Gabriel Mountains and the flora and fauna that call the area home. From geology to ecology, there's something for everyone to learn.

Planning Your Visit If you're planning a visit to Eaton Canyon Nature Center, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Hours and Admission The nature center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is free, but there is a $6 parking fee for the lot.


What to Bring Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes for hiking. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended, as the trails can be exposed to the sun. If you plan on visiting the waterfall, be prepared to get wet!

Rules and Regulations Pets are not allowed on the trails or in the nature center. Bicycles are also not allowed on the trails. Be sure to stay on designated trails and pack out all trash.

Conclusion Eaton Canyon Nature Center is a true hidden gem in Pasadena, California. With its extensive trail system, live animal exhibits, and educational exhibits, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing day in nature, Eaton Canyon is a must-visit destination.

FAQs

  1. Can I bring my dog to Eaton Canyon Nature Center? No, pets are not allowed.

  2. Is there a fee to visit Eaton Canyon Nature Center? Admission to the nature center is free, but there is a $6 parking fee for the lot.

  3. What should I bring for my visit to Eaton Canyon Nature Center? Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes for hiking. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended, as the trails can be exposed to the sun. If you plan on visiting the waterfall, be prepared to get wet!

  4. Are there guided hikes or tours available at Eaton Canyon Nature Center? Yes, the nature center offers a variety of guided hikes and tours led by knowledgeable staff. Check their website for more information and to make reservations.

  5. What are the hours of operation for Eaton Canyon Nature Center? The nature center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm.






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