Not too long ago I explored some of the Eaton Canyon Trail over in Pasadena, California. There’s a waterfall at the end of the trail so I wanted to check it out for myself. Unfortunately during my last visit I just wasn’t able to get to it. So during my last free day I decided to give it another go. It’s a popular area so I was hesitant to go on a weekend day but I really wanted to see the falls for myself. So I packed light and headed out just after sunrise.
When I started my hike the trail was fairly free with not a lot of foot traffic. But it didn’t take long for the trail to get pretty congested. It became especially congested when I reached the part of the trail that required several instances of crossing the stream. Despite knowing how popular a trail it is I was still surprised with how congested the trail became. And during the morning hours to boot. Walking at a slower pace is a benefit to a photography though. At least in some cases. In this instance I managed to find this nice little portion of the stream. It had some great stones and trees so I managed to get this shot near the end of my hike.
Salvaging A Bust Of A Shoot
I never did take a shot of the waterfall. To be perfectly honest, when I reached the waterfall I was a bit disappointed. Not with the waterfall itself. It was actually quite scenic and looked like it might have potential for a photograph. Rather, what was disappointing was how crowded it was. I just couldn’t find a free spot to get a clean image because of how many people were hanging around the waterfall. And just when I thought I might try anyways, teenagers decided to jump into the water and have themselves a swim. So definitely no opportunities for a clean shot.
I’m happy to know that so many people choose to spend time outdoors on a nature hike of some kind. But it didn’t feel like a nature hike. It felt more like I was walking around Disneyland. It wasn’t enjoyable for me both as a photographer and as a nature lover. I won’t go on a rant about it. But I will say that the amount of people and music being blasted from wireless speakers ruined the peace. To be fair I did go during the weekend. I still think that it would be a nice hike early morning during the weekdays. You know, when everybody else is at work and/or school. But on a weekend or holiday, I would honestly skip it.
At least the main trail.
If you do go there on a weekend or holiday, check out some of the side trails. The bulk of visitors go to the waterfall. But not many seem to take any of the side trails so you won’t have to deal with the crowded madness. If you do go on a peak day, bring some earphones and pack your patience. Because you might need it.