There are three ways to reach the lovely Monrovia Canyon Falls, but only one of them is worthy of being named a good challenge for 2020! That’s because you start in Monrovia’s Old Town and make your way to the falls on a 6.5-mile (round-trip) hike.
Start at the park across from the library on Myrtle Street. There’s a huge bay fig tree, a Mark Twain statue, and a fountain. This marks the start of the Fountain to the Falls Trail.
You’ll make your way through suburbs of Victorian and Arts and Crafts homes that have been used in film and television.
The trail is easy to follow thanks to signs. The Monrovia Canyon Nature Center marks a good place to view where you’ve come from (all the way down there!) as it overlooks Monrovia. But it’s also a starting point for a shorter and easier hiking option to Monrovia Canyon Falls.
From the parking lot up here ($5 weekdays; $6 weekends) there’s a 1.5-mile (round-trip) trail behind the center, at a picnic area framed by majestic Jeffrey pines and coast live oaks.
Hike among canyon walls and towering trees paralleling a stream. Monrovia Canyon’s namesake 30-foot waterfall shines the most after a solid rain but still looks lovely the rest of the time—a two-tiered tumbler bisected by a granite ledge surrounded by oaks and other trees.
BONUS BEERS: Put on your hoppy face and head to one of Monrovia’s four local breweries. We like Pacific Plate—the first to open in the area—for its extensive and ever-changing tap list: everything from fruity IPAs to horchata stouts to tom yum soup–inspired wheat ale.
To get to the Monrovia Library in Old Town, take the I-210 to the Myrtle Ave. exit and head north for 1 mile. The library will be on your left at Lime Ave. To get to the Monrovia Canyon Nature Center, head north on Myrtle for another mile, turn right onto Hillcrest Blvd. In 0.3 mile, turn left onto N. Canyon Blvd. Take this for 1.5 miles, following signs for the park. Dog-friendly!