Kid Friendly Trails in Pasadena – Part 1

Small child walks on kid friendly trail in Pasadena

I’m always on the lookout for kid friendly trails in Pasadena — both because I’m a family photographer who is always looking for new locations for my tiniest clients and also because location scouting on trails with my kids is one of my favorite ways to create memories with them. There are always discoveries to make and adventures to have when we’re out in nature. 

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few of my favorite “kid-friendly” trails in the Pasadena area: 

The Gabrielino Trail

This little gem starts near JPL and winds up the mountain next to a bubbling little stream. It’s a popular trail and can get a little crowded in the spring and summer, but you can always veer off the main trail onto one of the little side trails and explore the stream. We’ve found tadpoles and small frogs and every little river rock you can imagine.

Keep an eye out for poison oak and poison ivy — there’s lots of it in the vegetation to the sides of the trail.  

Hahamonga Watershed Park 

This park is also near JPL (Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.) There are little trails that wind all the way through this beautiful area — Watch for horses and flying discs from the disc-golf course as you hike!

My favorite place is the wide, grassy lower field. This is a perfect spot for picnics, kite-flying on a windy day, or any activities with your kids that require a lot of space for running.

Millard Falls Trail

This is an easy 2.5 mile out and back trail in Altadena that ends in a waterfall. The trail follows a stream and ends up at a small waterfall. The trail crosses the stream multiple times, but is relatively level and easy to traverse — we did it with 2 two-year-olds. It’s also an extremely popular trail — so I recommend weekdays if you can swing it. And even if you don’t make it to the falls, there’s plenty to see along the way — fairy doors and smaller falls and magic all around. 

Brookside Park

Little boy walks on trail at Brookside Park in Pasadena

Brookside Park is the park next to the Rose Bowl, in the same stretch where Kidspace and the Aquatic Center reside. Near the back of the park, you’ll find one of Pasadena’s best playgrounds, “The Pirate Park” and if you keep going further, you’ll find little trails winding through the back of the park, complete with adorable stone stairs and walls. 

Stairway with cobbled stone walls on trail at Brookside Park in Pasadena

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