Millard Canyon Falls

Millard Canyon Falls Hike

In This Guide
  • Video & Turn by Turn Directions for Millard Canyon Falls
  • Parking for Millard Canyon Falls
  • Everything You Need to Know Before the Hike
Distance2.8 miles (4.5 km)
Other Options 1.4 miles - 1-1:30 hours
Hike Time1:30-2 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Easy
Total Ascent (?)560 feet (171m)
Highest Elevation2,140 feet (652m)
Fees & PermitsParking Pass
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park Website (?)Angeles National Forest
Park Phone626-969-1012
Stay In Touch - - -

Close to civilization but a world away, the short and shady Millard Canyon Falls hike follows a lush riparian habitat to a spectacular waterfall. The hike starts on a gradual downhill offering views into the foothills of Angeles National Forest, then heads through Millard Trail Camp and up through a richly biodiverse area to the fifty-foot waterfall. A shorter option cuts the hike down to about a mile and a half. It’s an excellent hike for families and those wanting a quick outdoor fix without a long trip into the forest.

Getting to Millard Canyon Falls

Millard Canyon Falls is in Angeles National Forest, and you need to leave a parks pass or Adventure Pass in your car when you park. If you are doing the full hike, use this trailhead address:
Brown Mountain Truck Trail, Altadena, CA 91001

Millard Falls Parking Options

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The road to the trailhead is small and enters Angeles National Forest from Altadena.
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When you get to the trailhead area, make the right toward the white gate.
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There’s a small parking area at the trailhead. If the parking area is full, you can park on the dirt turnoffs down along the road.

Short Hike Parking

If you want to do the shorter option, keep going past the parking area and down the hill. Use this trailhead address:
Millard Trail Camp, 4041 Chaney Trail, Altadena, CA 91001

Big Parking Lot Millard Canyon Falls
There’s a big parking lot at the bottom of the hill.
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There are bathrooms at Millard Trail Camp, which is on the hike. They’re not the greatest, so go before you get here if you can.

Gear for the Hike

You can do the hike to Millard Canyon Falls in light hiking gear or fitness clothes. There are stream crossings and occasional overgrowth. Having waterproof shoes or shoes that can get wet is your best bet. Using trekking poles will help at stream crossings.

If you have kids, they will probably get wet when crossing the streams if there’s water flowing.

La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Opsrey Stratos Blue

I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) 

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated May 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here

No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Millard Canyon Falls Trail Maps

The trails on this hike are all nicely marked and easy to follow.

Click To View Map

Millard Canyon Falls Hike Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy (prices on REI and Amazon) and does a lot of the same things.

Hike Brief

Coast Range Newt
There’s an abundance of wildlife in Millard Canyon, but if you’re loud, you’ll probably scare it away. Keep your eyes open for the coast range newt, a local inhabitant and threatened species. Photo Greg Schechter

Millard Canyon Falls Hike Directions

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Heads up, many trails and parks are closed because of the Covid pandemic. Please call the park or visit the website listed at the beginning of the hike to see what the status is.

Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Directions

Millard Canyon Falls Trail 5
Go through the gate at the end of the parking area to start the hike.
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You’ll be hiking up Mt Lowe Road for a short stretch. If you were to follow this road straight you’d eventually reach Inspiration Point in about 5 miles.
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But we’re going to make the first left turn onto the Sunset Ridge Trail.
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Here’s the start of the Sunset Ridge Trail at that turn. Hop off the road and onto the trail. It’s 0.8 miles of downhill to Millard Trail Camp.
Millard Canyon Falls Trail 9
The trail twists and turns into the canyon.
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When the trail comes out of the trees you’ll get some nice views into the foothills of Angeles National Forest towering above Millard Canyon.
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Follow the switchbacks down to the end of the hill.
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And soon the Sunset Trail will follow the bigger Channey Truck Trail.

If you’re coming from the short route, you’ll be walking down the larger road (above) from the parking area.

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At the junction you’ll see a sign pointing you toward the falls.
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Join the road and head through Millard Trail Camp, which is on your left as you hike. The campground is first-come, first-serve if you’d ever like to stay the night.
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Hike straight through the campground, past the bathroom on your right.
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At the end of the camping area make the right onto the well-marked trail to Millard Falls.
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Climb up the small stone wall and hike along the trail.
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For the next 0.5 miles you’ll be crossing back and forth over the stream multiple times. Look for the trail heading up the canyon in the distance.
Millard Canyon Falls Trail 19
The trail follows the creek up Millard Canyon. Just keep following the Millard Creek.
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Some areas have multiple options to cross. Just pick what works best for you.
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Keep hiking over the crossings as the trail starts to wind around to the left.
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And then, around a corner to the left, you’ll hear the falls in the distance.
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And here you are, all 50 feet or so of Millard Falls!
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Enjoy the area around Millard Falls, it’s beautiful. Don’t try to climb the falls; it’s a fairly common spot for injuries.

After you enjoy the falls, just turn around and hike back the way you came.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.