Rubio Canyon Trail

MODERATE 57 reviews

Rubio Canyon Trail is a 1.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Altadena, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

1.9 miles
718 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running






wild flowers



washed out

This is about as adventurous as a short hike can be. Narrow trail along steep canyon that will take you from a neighborhood to seemingly the middle of nowhere in only half a mile.

9 months ago

Beautiful Water fall and easy to get there.

10 months ago

The trail starts off a residential street, between two houses. There are many ways to hike the canyon, but my favorite is to stay to the left as long as the trail exists. Eventually it will drop down to the canyon floor. In a little over a mile you'll reach ribbon rock and moss grotto falls. Evidence of the blasting fiasco of 1998 is all round, but the falls are still amazing I continued up the ravine on the right, which was _very_ steep. The first trail to the left goes to to the top of moss grotto, but I passed that. The second trail to the left goes to the unforgettable Thalehaha falls lookout. You can see downtown LA and the pacific ocean to the left, the falls to the right. It was quite difficult to get there, but worth it. Next trip I'll get all the way up the ravine.

11 months ago

Beautiful trail. I went with my dad; he loved it. It's a challenging trail too; a lot of rock hopping which I enjoyed.

11 months ago

Rubio Canyon is wet again!! Saw 3 of the falls today, can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

I didn't finish because the pathway was gone and instead it became rock climbing or become a goat. I have a fear of heights and that's just something i can't do. narrow trails, ok but literally climbing against a rock-NO!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Very light traffic trail. Mostly high grass bushes. Easy to get lost. Not much shade, some area is very hard to climb. Not easy to the dogs.

Monday, March 21, 2016

short, but interesting canyon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's a good trail, but the Easy label is entirely misleading. There's a very good reason why most of the GPS tracks don't show people making it all the way to the end. The first 1/3 of the distance (up until you get to the foundation for the old train up the mountain) is easy and well-maintained (though narrow at some points). After that point it's more rock hopping for another 1/3 (although easy to get confused once you get into the riverbed - keep that map handy). But the last 1/3 is moderate to high difficulty. You must climb up a steep, loose shale incline that shifts constantly, and once you've done that you are essentially following a goat path that's about as wide as your boot in some places, clutching onto the greenery to keep you from tumbling down a sheer drop. I made the trip up until we got to the spot that puts you directly between an amazing view of Los Angeles (and Long Beach off to the right, in the distance), and a sheer drop to a spectacular water fall (at least 100 feet tall) on the other side. But we didn't go further since I wasn't sure how I was going to get my dog and two kids (11 and 14) down the hill again before it got dark. I ended up carrying the dog while coaching the kids down while I prayed they wouldn't lose their footing. Definitely an adventure, but only the first 2/3ds really fits the listed skill level. If you want to take the family, plan to stop once it gets difficult, because it doesn't ever get better. Or just go to Eaton Canyon, where most of the hike is on level ground. But if you can leave the family behind and want a fun mountaineering adventure, by all means go the distance. Just don't share all the details with a skittish significant other or they'll never let you go "hiking" with the kids again.

Friday, October 02, 2015

I'd rate this "easy/moderate" for the loose rocky steep portion up to the vantage plateau. Still a nice trail that's short yet somewhat challenging, views are of the steep canyon and DTLA in the smoggy distance.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Very hot with little cover for summer. May be ok for cloudy day or early. Had to turn around before the end, but the trail was empty and was a nice close portal to wilderness. There are initial views of the LA basin before entering the more secluded part of the canyon. As others mentioned some sections of the trail are not well-maintained: watch your step!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy to find now with directions. Was a nice walk, but very hot. Not much shade on trail and had to turn around before the end. Will come back during a cooler month. May be fine early morning or on a cloudy day. As someone mentioned before, parts of the trail are not well maintained. Watch your step!

Friday, December 26, 2014

its an easy hike this is my 5th time hiking rubio canyon trail. the trail in some places is not in good condition so watch where you for the trail its easy to lose it passing the former site of rubio pavellion towards the falls as long as you follow the creek bed and ,watch out for big boulders enjoy the hike and come back the same way you went in.....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nice easy hike. Some scrambling near the end. Water was just a trickle. Would like to do this again after some good rain.

Friday, April 26, 2013

It was an interesting start kind of have to scramble here and there. Once you get there down a lot of rock hopping. Be careful of bee's. we went in April the waterfall was almost completely dry but still a fun hike.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This was my second visit to this canyon, previously my hike was not rewarding as our group couldn't find the waterfalls (read previous review). This time with 3 avid hikers, I was able to locate 2 waterfalls inside the canyon - Moss Grotto/Ribbon Rock Falls and an overlook of Thalehaha Falls. The trail to Moss Grotto/Ribbon Rock Falls is informal and you have to hike down, if you hike up, you ultimately reach Echo Mountain (3207'). And, this is a very sunny hike - carry lots of water, hat and sunblock. There is hardly any water (even in end November). The only good thing about this hike is that it is not crowded and you get close to wilderness.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Rubio Canyon is a great place to visit and see some cool remnants of a time lost to Los Angeles. About halfway to the falls you will find some old foundations on either side of the creek. These used to support a pavilion and train station for a car that used to ride up the 45 degree west wall of the canyon to the top of Echo Peak and beyond, all the way up to the top of Mt Lowe. At the time it was called the Mt. Lowe Railway. There also used to be an extensive system of wooden bridges and stairs that would take you all the way up to the bottom of Talehaha. Currently there is a trail that follows the old tracks from the canyon to the top of Echo Peak where a grand hotel once stood. All in all a great short hike and a good opportunity to imagine the canyon as it once was. If you do go, learn some of the history first. It will make it much more worth while. A way better way to see the canyon is from the top down. However, you will need a different trailhead and technical canyoneering gear for that hike

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I went to Rubio Canyon with a group of 12 amateur hikers, it was a good learning experience but not very rewarding. We hiked up-hill towards the other waterfalls (rock hopping + thorny plants), but our group people got separated. We climbed up few miles, and realized that the other group had taken an informal path (down-hill) leading them to a dead end with a big rock ahead. Unfortunately, we had to join them and we could just see that Thalehaha waterfalls from a distance.

Most of amateur hikers were extremely thirsty and exhausted. So, we had to return. Make sure you wear pants and a sun hat, the trails are full of thorny plants if you go above Ribbon/Moss Grotto Falls. Carry lots of water and don't loose hope while hiking up-hill.

Every hike brings a different experience, and certainly a huge respect for the power of mother nature. I'll probably hike Rubio canyon again and explore the remaining waterfalls.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Very narrow and challenging trail, will give you a full body workout for a beginner. Highly recommend.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I love Rubio Canyon. So many waterfalls on a short stretch of canyon. Once you pass Moss Grotto Falls I usually see nobody. Love this place

Load More