This winter's downpour really threw a wrench into your active Southern California lifestyle.
But there is one pay-off: Waterfalls.
Okay, two pay-offs, when you consider all the TLC references.
Anyway, about the those beautiful, flowing, aquatic spectacles you and your family and friends can hike to in Los Angeles. We may be facing the very best time to see some of Southern California’s most beautiful waterfalls and creeks amid a newly emerald landscape after all this rain and with the coming snow melts.
Eaton Canyon Falls, Altadena
A 40-foot waterfall dropping into a waist-deep wading pool awaits you at the end of this short, moderate and heavily trafficked 3.5-mile round-trip hike through a woodsy base of the San Gabriel Mountains, just less than five miles from Downtown Pasadena. If you want to continue, there are plenty of other trails your brood can follow, and the hike is dog-friendly, too. Expect a small amount of creek-crossing and do avoid the dangerous, non-sanctioned hike that leads to Upper Eaton Canyon.
Escondido Falls, Malibu
At 150-feet tall, the Upper Falls are among LA’s most impressive and visually captivating cascades. Unfortunately, it can be a tough hike to complete with a baby or small child strapped to you, albeit one rewarded with a breathtaking sight. The fall’s lower section is perhaps a little less mind-blowing to behold at 50-feet but is easily reachable through a pleasant hike covered in fresh greenery despite significant fire damage to the surrounding trees.
Sturtevant Hills, Sierra Madre
An active, fun, moderate hike along a mesmerizing creek among the woods of Santa Anita Canyon delivers you to one of LA’s more beautiful waterfalls, which roars from 60 feet into a rocky, oak-strewn canyon where families picnic and chill. Feel free to bring doggy, as long as she’s leashed and expect to cross some potentially very wet parts of the creek if it’s recently been pouring.
Paradise Falls, Thousand Oaks
A short, beautiful and moderate 2.5-mile loop hike in the middle of the Conejo Valley suburbs, filled with natural flora and fauna. Ha, we said “fauna.” Anyway, it all leads to a gentle 40-foot waterfall with a wide pool that people jump into from above and swim in. Even though they’re not supposed to. We’ll never tell. Even though we just did. Anyway, there’s also a wooden teepee that the kids seem to go nuts for. You know kids these days.
San Antonio Falls, San Bernardino
Although the road is primarily paved, the beauty of the valley views on this hike more than compensate. Though the final path to the falls can be a little daunting, the trail is overall short and easy for kids five and up. Do your research for the safest route to the high, smooth waterfall with a split crown. Dogs are allowed on leashes and the area has many more hikes that go further back into the Mount Baldy area.
Trail Canyon Falls, Tujunga
Take the 405 to its northern-most extent for this challenging 4-mile, round-trip hike that ambles through canyon streams to a stunning 30-foot waterfall arcing over a smooth, scooped rock face. Getting to the base of the falls, assisted by a rope for balance, could be a challenge for tiny humans. Or bigger humans wearing one of the backpacks filled with a tiny human.
As always, this nature thing can be unpredictable and we’re not exactly Ranger Rick. So make sure to do your research to make sure there’s water still flowing and that current conditions are safe enough for you to visit with the people you love without anyone getting hurt.