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Patch Blog: How to Hike the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail

The Eagle Rock is more than just a neighborhood landmark—it's a park where locals can enjoy a simple day hike. Follow Patch blogger Peter Choi as he leads the way!

Our neighborhood is named after the giant stone formation dubbed Eagle Rock by the Tongva natives who were here well before any residents who spoke a language any of us might understand.

We talk about it, reference it, drive by it, admire it—but have you ever actually hiked the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail, a four-and-a-half-acre open space adjacent to the Eagle Rock? 

That we can do so is because of the heroic efforts by many community activists, nature lovers and elected officials who worked together to save the land around the rock from developers and created the Eagle Rock Historic Park. There are still private residential properties—and a large apartment complex exclusively for renters—by The Rock.

This blog is about hiking the trail, but first credit must be given to Kaye Beckham and Shirley Minser, who led efforts to preserve the roughly four acres of land. 

Props as well to local community group Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful and its late founder John Stillion, who teamed with CERB Co-Chair Esther Monk to start the “Save The Rock” campaign. 

Peter Schaller eventually designed the trail. It is due to the tireless and dedicated work of these individuals and many more that we Eagle Rockers are able to enjoy this last piece of open space between Eagle Rock and Pasadena.

Again, this is a capsule history—if you have more historical facts and anecdotes (and kudos), please feel free to contribute them in the comments section below.

Cut to present day and the decision by this blogger to get a workout and hike The Rock.

I took the easiest route to the Eagle Rock: 

1.  Drive east on Colorado Boulevard toward Pasadena.

2.  After Figueroa, take a left on Patrician Way.

3.  After you cross the bridge over the 134 freeway, take an immediate left on Eagle Rock View Drive.

4.  Park in the cul de sac and start your walk at the trail entrance to the left of the private driveway where Eagle Rock View Drive ends.

The hike is just under a mile—and relatively easy. I hiked the trail in my worn-out Shaq high tops and did fine, although I would have been more at ease in my hiking boots. Bring water (which I didn’t) and maybe some trail mix to enjoy at the top of the trail when you take in the view (again, I did not).  And remember—trash in, trash out! (There’s a trash bin at the beginning of the trail.)

I did, however, bring along my trusty flip cam, so enjoy the short video and appreciate nature from the comfort of your laptop.

Happy Trails!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pat Griffith August 30, 2011 at 06:14 AM
Thanks, Peter!
din August 30, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Excellent post.
Cherryl Weaver August 30, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Thank you for highlighting this amazing trail that so many have worked hard for Eagle Rockers to enjoy. I hope more people hike the trail.
Carmen Castillo August 30, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Spread the word!!! The land is privately held by CERB. We need help paying it off so that it will become a permanent part of the community. If everyone in Eagle Rock donated just $5.00 we would have the trail paid off!!!
Peter Choi August 30, 2011 at 07:06 PM
@Pat, @din, @Cherryl - Thanks! It was a fun excursion that I encourage others to experience.
Peter Choi August 30, 2011 at 07:09 PM
@Carmen- Thanks for the alert. Readers wanting to help can go to the CERB website: http://www.cerb.us/How_To_Help.html CERB rocks!
Tim Ryder August 30, 2011 at 08:32 PM
I recommend taking the trail route to the left as it is less steep then the right side. Unless you want a good workout of course. I have seen all sorts of wildlife up there, rabbits, squirrels, birds, and the occasional rattlesnake (well it is outdoors).
Cheryl Leutjen August 30, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Thank you, Peter, for the beautiful tribute to the Eagle Rock Canyon Tail! While the trail is just under a mile in length, please note that there are steep and narrow places ~ and, yes, wildlife ~ so please do use caution and hold the hands of your little ones. The property is held by the Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful for the benefit of all. We are still fundraising to pay for the property, however, and we do appreciate your contributions to help pay it off. See our website at cerb.us or call Ursula Brown at 323-255-9400 for information about how to donate. Also, we LOVE volunteers willing to help maintain the trail, usually on the first Saturday of each month. For updates on all of our events, email us at volunteer@cerb.us or "Like" our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ERBeautiful. Thanks for the support, community! Cheryl Leutjen CERB, Vice-President
Peter Choi August 31, 2011 at 06:30 PM
@Tim Thanks for the tips Tim!
Peter Choi August 31, 2011 at 06:37 PM
@Cheryl- At the risk of sounding like a classic Sammy-Maudlin/Bobby-Bittman SCTV sketch, thank YOU for your efforts to improve Eagle Rock and for the great work CERB does. Your information is exactly what readers would like to know.
Donna Rocks September 02, 2011 at 02:44 AM
Cool video! It really shows gorgeous Eagle Rock.
Peter Choi September 02, 2011 at 06:53 PM
Thanks to Curbed (www.la.curbed.com) here is a link to an old LA Times article on how Eagle Rock fought to preserve the Eagle Rock: http://articles.latimes.com/1988-06-16/news/gl-6825_1_eagle-rock
Ursula Brown September 05, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Thank you for this video, it's beautiful. CERB is working on creating a memorial garden with benches, on top of the trail.
QW September 19, 2011 at 04:41 PM
why did someone remove all the keychains from the fence?
A.T. April 08, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I've lived in the nearby apartments for decades, trekked up and down Patrician Way ~3000 times, hiked trails and climbed mountains around the world, and only now (as in today) accidentally discovered this trail a few feet from my door!? Opened in 2008?! Is my face red. Only knew the area as a private residence, with no reasons to go that way since moving here. It's a wonderful trail with many moments of beauty and unanswered questions; some ancient cement foundations appear to protrude at points. What in the world used to be there and what happened to it? What are the various nearby buildings (some pretty scraggly)? How was the trail built and did it follow a pre-existing path? Looks like an enormous amount of work was done, the story of the decisons would be most interesting.
Cheryl Leutjen April 08, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Hello, A.T., thanks for your comments on the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail! The property was acquired by The Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful, a local non-profit organization of which I am the vice-president. The trail is privately owned, but open for public enjoyment. It was designed by master trail builder Peter Schaller and built with all-volunteer efforts. It is currently maintained by local residents Harry Chamberlain, Trever Jones, and the members and volunteers of the Collaborative. All of the nearby buildings are on privately owned property, and hikers are urged to stay on the trail. We are still raising funds to pay off the trail, and we invite you to check out our website for more information about the trail, as well as our upcoming fundraising events. www.cerb.us Thanks again for your interest in the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail.
BMcD November 03, 2012 at 05:41 PM
This article is a great starting place for people driving to the trail. Is it possible to add an addendum that mentions you can access the trail from Figueroa on foot quite easily? From the corner of Colorado & Figueroa walk north on Figueroa past both entrances to the 134. There is a small park on the right (east) side where the trail begins.
Julee June 02, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Does this trail loop around? I tried hiking this the other day and as I was winding up the hill I wasn't sure where it was going to take me so I didn't spend as much time on it as I would have liked to. I'd like to go back and try again, but would like to know first if it loops around. It's interesting to me that this trail isn't more well known. I think people around here would really love it if they knew about it. It doesn't come right up on a google search. I am not sure how I eventually was lead to this site, but this seems to be the only place online that mentions this hike. Happy to have discovered it.
Cherryl Weaver June 03, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Julee, The trail is a loop and you can choose to hike the entire loop or up or down one side. There are benches and amazing vistas at the top. I agree I wish more people knew about the trail and enjoyed it. You can find more information about the trail and the organization that built and owns the trail at www.cerb.us or find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/ERBeautiful

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