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This Easy Hike In California Leads You To A Secret Waterfall

California is filled with many beautiful natural wonders.

The only problem is that many of them require a long and strenuous hike to get there.

But not all of them…

We’ve discovered a stunning 40-ft waterfall that you’ll find at the end of a relatively easy trail.

No hauling yourself up steep rocks or hiking for 6 hours, this waterfall can be reached in just 40 minutes from the parking lot.

The trail is also mostly flat and easygoing so it’s perfect for everyone!

This hike would make a great weekend activity, especially if you have kids.

You can bring along the whole family for a fun day out, both young and old.

Paradise Falls

Paradise Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the city of Thousand Oaks in Southern California.

It’s a popular spot for a hike because it’s not too difficult and has lots of interesting things to see along the way. 

The trail to the waterfall is about 2.5 miles round trip which makes it a great choice for a day hike.

The trail also forms a loop which is pretty awesome as it means you get to explore new scenery throughout the hike without any repetition.

When you reach Paradise Falls, you’ll see water cascading 40 feet down into a clear pool below. 

It’s a great place to enjoy nature, take photos and relax by the soothing sounds of falling water. 

The best time to do this hike is during the spring when it becomes filled with stunning wildflowers.

Another plus is that this is a year-round waterfall so it never dries up, unlike some other Southern California waterfalls.

The Hike To Paradise Falls

Hiking to Paradise Falls is an exciting adventure! 

Here’s exactly what you should expect…

The trail to the falls is part of Wildwood Regional Park which you’ll find in Thousand Oaks. It’s just a 40-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles.

This hike is pretty popular because it’s relatively easy and has a lot to see along the way.

It’s super scenic and you’ll pass by lots of lush scenery, cacti and even a deep canyon.

You can actually access the waterfall via several different routes but we’re going to cover the most popular loop trail as it includes a visit to a cave!

You’ll want to start by walking along the Mesa Trail which you can access from the parking lot.

When you start the hike, you’ll walk through a natural area filled with oak trees and chaparral, which is a type of shrubland. 

After around 0.35 miles, you’ll then turn left onto the Teepee Trail and then follow this path until you reach the falls.

The trail is well-marked so it’s easy to follow. 

As you hike, you’ll hear the sounds of birds and maybe even see some wildlife like rabbits or squirrels.

You may even bump into a deer or two.

The path takes you through different types of terrain. 

There are some flat sections where walking is super easy and some slightly uphill parts that make your legs work a bit harder. 

Rachael Moore / Flickr

As you get closer to Paradise Falls, you’ll start to hear the sound of falling water. 

The falls are about 40 feet high and they look beautiful as the water cascades down into a clear pool below. 

There’s a viewing area where you can stand and watch the waterfall, take pictures and enjoy the cool mist.

Rachael Moore / Flickr

Unfortunately, swimming in the falls isn’t allowed.

The pool beneath the waterfall might look super inviting, especially on a hot day, but as the pool contains urban runoff and sharp rocks, it isn’t safe so swimming is prohibited. 

If you look to the left of the waterfall, you should see a rock grotto! 

Alex Mladenovic / Flickr

It looks very different to the surrounding landscape so you’ll spot it easily.

After visiting the falls, you can either head back the way you came or continue along the Moonridge Trail which loops back to where you began. 

If you take the Moonridge Trail, you’ll get the chance to see the beautiful Indian Cave on the way back. 

It’s small but definitely interesting to explore and you can even climb inside which is pretty exciting.

Rachael Moore / Flickr

Most people find the hike easy overall so it’s suitable for most fitness levels including children.

The total distance to Paradise Falls and back is about 2.5 miles which is doable for most people who are in good health.

One of the best parts of this hike is crossing a few small streams. 

Don’t worry, there are stepping stones to help you get across without getting wet. 

Kids usually find this part really fun!

There are picnic areas too so bringing a lunch to enjoy in nature is a great idea.

You can do this hike year-round but it’s particularly great after heavy rain as the waterfall will be at its fullest.

Know Before You Go

Rachael Moore / Flickr

If you’re planning to hike to Paradise Falls in Wildwood Regional Park, here are some useful things to know:

Cost

There is no cost to enter Wildwood Regional Park or to hike to Paradise Falls. It’s free to enjoy!

Parking

There is a parking lot at the park’s main entrance on W. Avenida de los Arboles. 

Parking is also free but the lot can get full on weekends so it’s a good idea to arrive early.

Facilities

At the park entrance, there are restrooms and some picnic areas. 

It’s a good spot to use the restroom before you start your hike as there are no facilities along the trail or near the waterfall.

Trail Markings

Rachael Moore / Flickr

The trails are well-marked with signs to guide you to Paradise Falls. 

Make sure to follow these signs so you stay on the right path.

What to Bring

It’s smart to bring water, especially on hot days, and maybe some snacks or a picnic. 

Wearing sturdy shoes is important because some parts of the trail can be rocky.

Pets

Dogs are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash. 

It’s a great place to bring your furry friend as long as you clean up after them.

Safety

Always stay on the marked trails to keep safe and be careful around the waterfall area as the rocks can be slippery.

Rachael Moore / Flickr

Keep an eye out for wild animals including rattlesnakes, coyotes and mountain lions. It’s best to keep your dogs on a short leash to ensure they are safe.

Remember, Wildwood Regional Park is a natural area so help keep it beautiful by packing out all your trash and leaving no trace. 

Things To Do At Paradise Falls

Paradise Falls is a stunning natural waterfall that is a great destination for hikers and nature lovers. 

The waterfall itself is about 40 feet high and flows down into a beautiful, clear pool below.

When you reach Paradise Falls, you’ll find a scenic spot that’s perfect for various activities. 

Here’s what you can do there:

Viewing the Falls

There’s a designated viewing area where you can stand and watch the waterfall. 

This spot is great for taking in the view of the water as it cascades down the rocks and splashes into the pool. 

It’s also an excellent place for taking photos so remember to bring your camera or phone.

Enjoy the Mist

When standing close to the falls, you can feel the cool mist on your face which is especially refreshing on a warm day. 

The misty area around the waterfall makes it feel like a tiny oasis.

Picnicking

There are some areas around the falls where you can sit down and have a picnic. 

After your hike, enjoying a meal by the waterfall can be very relaxing. 

Just remember to pack up all your trash to keep the park clean.

Exploring Nature

Around the waterfall, there are some smaller paths where you can explore more of the surrounding nature. 

You might see different kinds of plants, birds and maybe even some local wildlife.

Relaxing

Many people visit Paradise Falls just to relax and listen to the sound of the water. 

It’s a peaceful place where you can sit and read a book, think or just enjoy being outside.

Paradise Falls is a beautiful natural wonder that allows you to enjoy the great outdoors and take a break from everyday life.

How To Get There

Paradise Falls is a great place to hike and enjoy nature and getting there is pretty straightforward.

If you want to start the hike to Paradise Falls, you first need to get to Wildwood Regional Park. 

The main entrance to the park is at 928 W. Avenida de los Arboles. 

If you are driving, you can put this address into a GPS or a map app on your phone and it will guide you there. 

There’s a parking lot where you can leave your car. 

Parking is free, and from there, you are ready to start your hike.

Once you park your car, look for the park’s main entrance. 

Nearby, you’ll find some maps and signs. 

These will help you locate the trail to Paradise Falls. 

It’s well-marked so it should be easy to follow.

The hike to Paradise Falls is about 2.5 miles round trip which means you go about 1.25 miles to get to the falls and the same distance back to your car. 

The trail has signs along the way so you’ll know you’re going in the right direction.

Enjoy your hike to Paradise Falls!


Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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