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School of Self-Reliance

Millard Canyon

©1990 Christopher Nyerges

Chaney Trail in Altadena provides several day-hike points of departure. Chaney Trail is reached from Loma Alta Drive in Altadena, just west of Fair Oaks Avenue. Drive up Chaney Trail to the fork in the road, where you have two choice. You can drive down to the river, park, and hike up to the waterfall located about a half-mile upstream. The waterfall is popular spot because of its easy access, so you can  expect a crowd on the weekends. In addition to the crowd, an industrious person could supplement their weekly income by collecting aluminum cans. There is a trail which begins in the canyon bottom and climbs over the waterfall and leads you upstream to the  abandoned Dawn Mines and beyond. The Dawn Mines are about three miles upstream.

Back at the fork in the Chaney Trail, if you wish to go up the road, you'll need to park wherever you're able to near the fork. After about a quarter-mile or so, there is a trail which leads off to the left side of the road. This trail takes you down into Millard Canyon beyond the falls and up to the Dawn Mines. The trail is easy-going for the first mile or so, and then it becomes a rock-hopping trail which switches from one side of the river to the other. After about 2 to 3 miles, you'll reach the Dawn Mines. This old mine is not particularly impressive -- two holes in the hillside where gold, silver, and copper were once mined, and lots of rusting metal things lying about -- but the trip itself and the pleasant environment is worth it.

By the way, stay out of the mines! There is at least one deep vertical shaft with water at the bottom. If you were by yourself and fell in, rescue would be unlikely.

Back on Chaney Trail, instead of hiking down the trail, you can continue to hike up the road. There will be several incredible lookout points as you climb upward. In approximately 1 to 2 miles, you'll have  another choice. You can get on a smaller trail and hike eastward only 8/10 of a mile to Echo Mountain. You can actually see Echo Mountain from the road -- it's the flat ridge with the ruins and scattered rubble.

Or, you can stay on the main road and hike to Mount Lowe Campground in about three miles. This is the same path which the electric cars followed taking tourists up the Mount Lowe Tavern some 60 years ago. At Mount Lowe Campground, there is an outhouse, water, and table. Overnight camping is permitted.

"Don't forget to take
a well-equipped survival pack!"

Local Hiking Trails
The CCC Road
The Switzers Area
The Falls
Millard Canyon
Mt. Lowe
Garbage: Good Enough to Eat?
Scoutleader Landry