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6 Favorite Waterfall Hikes in Los Angeles

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

It's waterfall season in Los Angeles right now, and because of all this great rain we are having you'd be crazy not to check out a few hikes while they are still flowing! There's definitely more waterfall hikes in Los Angeles than you probably think so I've complied a list of a few of my favorites that are perfect to view this time of year. January through early April are the best months to go chasing waterfalls so there is no better time than now to go check them out!

1. Trail Canyon Falls - Tujunga CA

Length: 4.2 miles out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 700 | Dogs: Yes on-leash | Parking fee: none

Directions and full hike info here

view from kenneth hahn park

About 30 miles northeast of Los Angeles proper you can find this hidden gem! This really is the best time of year to visit Trail Canyon Falls because after April or so, it will be a much smaller trickle, to eventually hardly anything at all in the hot summer months. Personally, this is one of my most favorite waterfall hikes in the area and I always try to make it there after the rain. The hike up through the canyon is so pretty and these dramatic 30 ft falls make for the best payoff after a short ascent.

2. Paradise Falls - Thousand Oaks CA

Length: 2.55 mile loop, or 2.15 miles out and back | Level: Easy | Duration: 1-2 hours | Elevation: 260 | Dogs: Yes on leash | Parking: FREE

Directions and full hike info here

view from charmlee wilderness park trail

I love this park, and I love this hike! Located in the pretty suburb of Thousand Oaks within Wildwood Park, Paradise Falls trail is one of the better places to spend an afternoon as you don't even feel like you are in Los Angeles. Not only is the hike to the waterfall easy and pretty, there are picnic tables all throughout the park- some right here by the falls, which make it perfect for packing a lunch and hanging out for the day. This park also has quite a few other trails you can explore that all weave together, making it more fun to choose which path you'd like to take to see the falls and making a full day out of it.

3. Eaton Canyon Falls - Pasadena CA

Length: 3.5 out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours | Elevation: 375 | Dogs: Yes on leash | Parking: FREE

Directions and full hike info here

view from portuguese bend reserve trail

The very popular and high- trafficked Eaton Canyon falls will always make my list as a must-see waterfall hike! Though this hike can get annoying and sometimes dangerous as it does tend to draw large crowds due to its easy accessibility, it is still worth checking out. For the most part this hike is flat with a few river crossings, until you get closer to the falls which will ascend just a bit. The river crossings are easy as this hike becomes more about dodging people than worrying about falling in the water! Either way, if you can get past it being crowded, during the rainy months these falls are still impressive. Do it once, then check it off your list.

4. Lower Newton Canyon Falls - Los Angeles CA

Length: 1 mile loop | Level: Easy | Duration: 1 hours | Elevation: n/a| Dogs: Yes on-leash | Parking: FREE

Directions and full hike info here

will rogers state park trail view

This hike actually has a couple of waterfalls on it, both an upper and lower falls in different sections of the trail. Pictured here are the lower Newton Falls, and this is the shorter part of the hike you can see in about a mile from the parking lot. If you want to see the upper falls, you'll need to hike a few more miles into the canyon. Due to fire damage this year, this trail is still a bit damaged but I wanted to include it on this list because after everything grows back in, the waterfalls on this hike are nicely tucked away and beautiful! In complete contrast to Eaton Canyon, this hike is perfect if you are seeking solitude and want to enjoy the pure sounds of nature.

5. Temescal Canyon Falls - Los Angeles CA

Length: 2.6 mile loop (5.1 with extension) | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 1-2 hours | Elevation: 860 | Dogs: Not on trails, only in the main park areas | Parking: free on street, in lot machines charge by hour

Directions and full hike info here

temescal canyon loop trail

Another trail that's very scenic with or without the waterfall is Temescal Canyon. Pictured here just this month of March is the small waterfall and brook which hasn't been this full flowing in years! This basic loop has a quick ascent in the beginning, giving you a nice view of the ocean before descending down into a valley to this pretty bridge. Its a loop hike, so if you are looking for something a bit longer and to get a bit of a workout, a quick extension to Skull Rock before you get to this bridge will add an extra couple miles.

6. Escondido Falls - Los Angeles CA

Length: 3.9 miles out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 2 hours | Elevation: 400 | Dogs: Yes on-leash | Parking fee: FREE

Directions and full hike info here

red rock trail canyon park

Another hike that features two sets of waterfalls is the Escondido Falls Trail. Located in Malibu just off the PCH, this hike is another one that takes you to a tucked away canyon with some majestic looking falls. Pictured here are the lower falls which are the easier accessible of the two as the trail to get here is primarily flat. For many hikers, this is enough to see. For others that are more adventurous, an upper set of falls can be reached by climbing up a semi-steep trail that goes behind these. It's a bit tricky of a climb, but there is a rope to help assist. During the wetter months it can be slippery but the falls are so cool looking I highly recommend the climb up. Sadly I don't have a good photo of the upper falls but you can view them on the trail information link here.

Other waterfalls in Los Angeles and surrounding areas that are worth checking out:

Hope you enjoyed this list and it inspires you to get out and explore all of our amazing waterfall hikes in Los Angeles! If you have any favorites that aren't on this list, send me a DM or leave me a comment with more suggestions. See you out on the trails!

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