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What will save Altadena hikers from themselves at Eaton Canyon?

Is there anyway to minimize danger at Eaton Canyon?
Is there anyway to minimize danger at Eaton Canyon?

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Southern California is blessed with gorgeous hikes. Just north of Pasadena, is one so alluring it tempts people to an uncertain fate. More and more locals have a cautionary awareness about Eaton Canyon and the so-called Second Waterfall. Still it continues to attract inexperienced hikers - dozens have been injured in just the last couple of years. Four have died since 2011.

Not only is the terrain a nightmare, as a new article in Pasadena Magazine explains, the multi-jurisdictional responsibility is a bit of a nightmare, too. L.A. County is responsible for the park land, but the U.S. Forest Service is responsible for the terrain beyond the park. A volunteer crew, the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team, looks after many rescues. And they have their own ideas of how to fix the problem. Agencies continue to talk about it, but nothing is changing.

Should it be a costly, well-engineered trail? Is a fence the answer, or signage? Is there any way to eliminate or minimize danger at Eaton Canyon?


Matthew Fleischer, Freelance Writer who wrote “The Second Waterfall” for July/August issue of Pasadena Magazine. Public Service Announcement about the Second Waterfall 

Richard DeLeon, Captain, Altadena Mountain Rescue Team 




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