Even though Angelenos have access to a gorgeous network of viewpoint walks, we often find ourselves overheated and frustrated because the ocean is just out of reach. Is there any way to reenergize while out on a hike or camping trip? Employing the mist produced by a waterfall.
These five trails around Los Angeles lead to some of the area’s most beautiful waterfalls, perfect for a refreshing dip after a day in the sun.
Hikes near Los Angeles that feature waterfalls? There is no better way to spend the brief rainy season (they technically still exist in the summer, but the flow is much lower) than by visiting these waterfalls.
Caution: Waterfalls tend to be at their most intense after significant precipitation or when the mountain snow has melted in the spring. If you’re a beginner hiker, it’s best to wait a couple of nights after a rainstorm before attempting these trails.
Malibu’s Escondido Falls
With a drop of 150 feet, this waterfall is one of the largest in Southern California, plunging over a series of moss-covered limestone boulders.
Winding Way East is a private road that ascends the Malibu hills and offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. After about half a mile, the road will start to descend, and a path will split off to the left. Bring your rock-hopping skills because the Escondido Valley Trail is a strenuous hike that crosses several streams.
Lesser Escondido Falls found one mile in, are stunning in their own right. They have an equal drop to the other falls on this list, 50 feet.
If you’re feeling tired, you can stop here to rest, or if you’re doing well, you can call it a day. Everyone else should follow the falls upstream to the right (the official route is safer than the alternative, which goes around the falls).
Take advantage of the rope for support, but be cautious on the slick rocks. This route takes you underneath a portion of the bottom waterfall via some additional stone climbing; the main attraction is a beautiful tiered cascading that fans across moss-grown outcroppings.
The pool is a great place to cool off on a hot day, and you can probably even find a few dogs paddling around in there. The waterfall spray is refreshing, too.
- Uncovering The Folklore And Urban Legends Of Chicago, From The Devil Baby Of Hull House To The Resurrection Of Mary!
Eaton Canyon Falls In Altadena Is Number Two
Don’t let the fact that another canyon with the same name can be found in Eaton Valley Natural Area deter you from exploring Moist Canyon.
The slow pace of life due to there being so many families? It serves as a deterrent, unless you have children of your own, at which point you and any children older than five will have a great time on this hike.
Make sure everyone has waterproof footwear for the short, less than three-mia le hike, as there will be multiple stream crossings. The exact number may vary throughout the year, but we tallied nine.
From the parking lot by the Environmental Center, hikers can access the main Park Avenue Trail, which is about 1.5 miles long and leads them through a forested, rocky area with a moderate ascent.
If you make it to the crashing 50-foot cascade that plunges into a stunning punchbowl of rock, you can enjoy splashing around in the water without putting your life in danger by climbing the razorback route above the falls.
The trail continues on to Mt. Wallace Toll Road, an eight-mile ascent to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. If that’s not the case, just turn around and head home.
Even though Moist Canyon is adjacent to the Pasadena Police Department’s firing range, officers assure locals that it is perfectly safe for tourists to visit.
Paradise Falls, Located In Thousand Oaks, California (Wildwood Park)
Wildwood Park’s trail network is so extensive that it’s almost intimidating, with four trails radiating out from the Camino de los Arboles entrance. The Moonridge Trail is the place to go for a stroll in the sun across scrub plains that might look familiar from Disney Westerns from the 1950s and 1960s (like the classic Davy Crockett).
After about a mile, you’ll reach a junction with the Tepee Trail; taking a left here will take you to a faux teepee and a vantage point over the Arroyo Conejo gorge.
Only a quarter of a mile away is the breathtaking Paradise Falls, a 40-foot cascade that is beautiful even in the heat of summer. The water isn’t swimmable, so pack a picnic instead and head back via the Wildwood Canyon Trail. You’ll be able to satisfy your wanderlust in a half mile, when you reach the Indian Cave Trail.
This detour takes you to a cave, an underground passageway big enough for humans to walk through. Officials from the park believe that the Chumash Indians once used it. The final leg of your journey can be completed by taking the Indian Creek Trail, which is an excellent spot to observe migratory birds.
Solstice Canyon In Malibu, Number Four
The stunning Malibu trail passes by the ruins of two homes before arriving at a waterfall that, despite being only 30 feet high, more than makes up for its lack of modesty with a series of naturally occurring ponds just begging to be explored.
From the park’s entrance on Corral Canyon Road, take the flat and tree-lined Solstice Canyon Trail. The Keller House, a stone hunting shack built by the original canyon landowners, will be the first building we come across.
The Roberts Farm House, designed by renowned architect Paul Williams as a retirement home for grocery store billionaire Fred Roberts and his wife Florence, lies in ruins about half a mile up the trail (who also created the themed Building at LAX).
The house caught fire in 1982 after being featured in Architectural Digest. Now we’re down to just a three-dimensional house plan: The only things that are still there are a rusting bathtub, a crumbling stove, and the bare bones of many walls.
If it weren’t for the happy showering of your fellow trekkers, the scene would be quite terrifying. Instead, it’s picture-perfect for a picnic; just spread out a patterned blanket and put the food in Mason jars to make your friends and family jealous.
The Rising Sun Trail can be used to complete a loop. It’s a tough climb, but the reward at the top is a breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean beyond the canyon walls.
Sturtevant Falls 5 In The Angeles National Forest
The Bobcat Fire of 2020 has rendered the trail impassable. Millard Accidental Falls, on the northern outskirts of Altadena, is a tall but less dramatic cascade that you can visit in the meantime after a 2.5-mile round-trip hike.
This is what early explorers and gold miners saw when they arrived in California: a canyon covered in vegetation and hidden by a system of rivers and streams.
The Angeles National Forest still holds relics from its early days, such as a thriving pack-mule industry and a few isolated cabins. The San Gabrielino Way can be reached from the Chantry Flat parking lot.
Big Santa Anita Creek was a popular resting spot for hikers during the 1920s and 1930s, when the National Park Service of the United States was established and John Muir, Jr. became a folk hero.
At Roberts’ Camp, where the trail splits off to Sturtevant Falls, you’ll find a collection of tiny cabins that were all built before WWII as part of a trail resort.
They are still privately owned, linked by a six-mile-long crank phone system, and inaccessible by anything other than a pack horse or foot. The fifty-foot drop of Sturtevant Falls into an oval pool surrounded by massive rocks makes it a breathtaking waterfall.
If you want to get to the viewing area for these falls, you’ll have to ford a few streams along the way. This is a “in and out” trip, so be prepared for a fairly steep, sun-deprived climb out of the gorge and back to the parking lot.
Not far from Pasadena, in the California National Forest, is Eaton Canyon Falls, a popular hiking destination. It’s about a four-mile round-trip hike to see the waterfalls, but many people stop for lunch or a rest at the waterfalls before heading back. Parking can be a real pain on the weekends.