Saturday, January 26, 2013

Monrovia Canyon Falls Hike - January 26, 2013

Monrovia Canyon Falls
See Monrovia Canyon Falls hike description on Dan's Hiking Pages

After Christmas I jumped into a big project at the house, so it’s been more than a month since I’ve been hiking. Last weekend was spectacular weather for hiking but the project kept me tied town. Looking at a forecast of rain for this weekend, it appeared that I had a window on mid Saturday. I decided on Monrovia Canyon Falls, one of my favorite close-by waterfalls. I noticed in my hike log that I visited the falls one-year ago this weekend.

A 15-minute drive from Azusa to Monrovia delivers me to Canyon Drive just south of Ridgeside Drive. I park here to avoid the $5 parking fee in Monrovia Canyon Park. It’s a pleasant 64 degrees.

Dan Simpson and Bob Dollins
12:10 - Begin hike. A 15-minute walk delivers me to the park entrance station. The name badge on the volunteer attendant reads “Bob Dollins.” I mention that I recognize his name from his hiking website, Bob’s Favorite Hikes, which I’ve visiting a lot over the years. I introduce myself and Bob admits to being a fan of Dan’s Hiking Pages. We chat for a few minutes. I always enjoy meeting other hikers. And I always appreciate the efforts of those who serve in volunteer organizations that provide wholesome recreational activities.

Bill Cull Trail, Monrovia Canyon
12:25 - Begin on Bill Cull Trail. I love hiking after a rain. Everything is so flesh and green. I love the wonderful aromas. Water droplets adorn the leave of the green vegetation. The narrow footpath is in excellent condition as it gently climbs along the canyon wall. Clouds shroud the surrounding ridges and threaten more rain. There are not many people on the trail and I enjoy a peaceful saunter. About the only thing in bloom are the tiny white flowers of wild cucumber with its new vines climbing host plants. Deciduous trees like big-leaf maple, sycamore, and white alder add a splash of lingering fall colors. The hearty fragrance of California bay with it dark, evergreen leaves fills the air.

12:50 - Reach the junction with the trail coming up from the middle parking area and in a few more minutes pass the junction with the trail coming down from the nature center. Water flows over the top of the first of several Lincoln-log check dams. I’m so enjoying the beauty of the canyon. The fresh aromas bring back childhood memories of hiking, camping, and horseback riding. As the canyon narrows the falls are near.

Monrovia Canyon Falls
1:15 - Monrovia Canyon Falls. Water tumbles down the two-tier, 30-foot falls creating a pleasant melody. Even with the rain, the flow is only modest this time. A few people are here enjoying the sylvan sanctuary. I sit and have a bite to eat while watching folks come and go. Two little girls exclaim with delight at the sight of the falls. I gaze upon the sheer rock faces and steep canyon walls and ponder a route that would take me beyond.

View south from Bill Cull Trail, Monrovia Canyon
1:45 - Leave falls and begin my casual saunter back. There are not many people on the trail and the walk is peaceful. Even in the dead of winter, life abounds in the canyon. I resist side tours and retrace my steps on Bill Cull Trail. The sun-lit distant horizon peering through the canyon month is framed on the top by a band of dark clouds.

2:22 - Arrive at Bill Cull Trail trailhead. Bob is starting to head home after his shift as a volunteer and offers me a ride to my car. I gladly accept and we enjoy visiting some more in our ride out of the park.

Wild cucumber in bloom, Monrovia Canyon
Epilog - What a thoroughly enjoyable outing…a round trip of only 3.4 miles, plus the 0.6-mile walk in. Monrovia Canyon always offers a splendid, woodsy experience. The conditions were ideal for a waterfall hike and the rain held off long enough for me to stay dry. There is something therapeutic about the rugged beauty of nature that refreshes and rejuvenates me. icon


  1. I love to hike and find waterfalls. We have a few here in the Santa Clarita Valley when we have rainy weather, but this year, the creeks are not flowing here.

  2. I was contemplating a waterfall hike this last weekend, but got lazy. I hate it when that happens! Probably would have gone up Rubio Canyon, but Monrovia was also in the back of my mind.