The 4 best hiking trails in L.A. with waterfalls

Here are four hiking trails in L.A. with breathtaking and impressive waterfalls. The waterfall is the perfect and refreshing award at the end of the hike!

Escondido Falls, Malibu

One of the biggest waterfalls in Southern California. 150-foot cascade pours down a series of limestone rocks covered in bright-green moss. Be prepared for some serious rock-hopping.

Lower Escondido Falls are good place to rest before continuing upwards to the Upper Escondido Falls.

At the end of the hike, there’s no better reward than just standing behind the waterfall letting the cool spray hit your skin.

So beautiful /

Trailhead: Park at the lot on Winding Way East a Pacific Coast Highway. The trailhead starts on Winding Way Road, take the clearly marked path.
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes
Length: ~3.8 miles
Time: 2 hrs

Paradise Falls in Wildwood Park, Thousand Oaks

*Paradise Falls temporarily closed last spring due to unprecedented crowds and waste (including, erm, human waste) so please be considerate when visiting.*

The trail system in Wildwood Park has four different paths diverging out from the Avenida de los Arboles entrance. Choose Moonridge Trail for a sunny walk through scrub plains.

Paradise Falls is a dramatic 40-foot cascade that’s impressive even in the dry season. The water is not clean enough for a refreshing swim, but you can have a lunch there and catch the Wildwood Canyon Trail to head back to the entrance. Visit the Indian Cave Trail, only half a mile from the Wildwood Canyon Trail, a cave-a tunnel through the rocks that’s large enough to walk through. Park officials believe it was used by Chumash Indians. Indian Creek Trail at the end of your journey is a popular spot for bird-spotting!

Paradise Falls by Seth Smigelski

Trailhead: Clearly marked, just west of the parking lot on Avenida de los Arboles. Trail maps are available here.
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes
Length: ~2.2 miles
Time: 1 hr

Eaton Canyon Falls, Altadena

*Eaton Canyon currently requires a reservation for access. You’ll need to present proof of your registration and a photo ID to enter.*

Make sure that everyone is wearing shoes that can stand getting a bit moist as there are several stream crossings on the easy, under-three-mile trek, nine along the route, but it varies depending on the season.

Park Road Trail take 1.5 miles through a wooded, rocky area that inclines gently. Once you reach the plunging 50-foot waterfall that drops into a beautiful punchbowl of rock, enjoy wading in the shallows, but avoid climbing up to the razorback trail above the falls.

For more experienced hikers, there is a Mt. Wilson Toll Road, an eight-mile hike to the Mt. Wilson Observatory.

Waterfall at Eaton Canyon by Jay Edwards via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Trailhead: Park at the Nature Center and cross the wash to the clearly marked trailhead.
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes
Length: ~3 miles
Time: 1 hr 30 min

Solstice Canyon, Malibu

The gentle, shaded Solstice Canyon Trail will take you to the Keller House, a hunting cabin made of stone and built by the original owners of the canyon lands. Then, about half a mile up the trail, you’ll reach the remains of the Roberts Ranch House, built by famed architect Paul Williams (he designed the Theme Building at LAX) as a retirement retreat for grocery store magnate Fred Roberts and his wife Florence. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic!

To make a loop, take the Rising Sun Trail back. It’s a bit of a climb, but you’ll be rewarded with a view of the Pacific through the canyon.

A waterfall near the Tropical Terrace by Seth Smigelski

Trailhead: Turn onto Solstice Canyon Road from Corral Canyon Road. The trailhead is clearly marked from the main parking lot.
Pets? Dogs allowed on leashes
Length: ~2.5 miles
Time: 1 hr


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L.A. Infused
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