Paradise Falls, California

Paradise Falls in late December 2013

I know there are a number of waterfalls in Southern California, and I’ve wanted to visit the area for a while. The winter and spring are apparently the best time to visit, so I flew out this past weekend for warmer weather. (As a side note, I know there are differing view of “warm” depending on where you live, but a low of 45 F is still much better than 14 F. Don’t tell me I’m coming to cold weather after leaving Michigan.) I ended up being sick for a portion of the time, so I didn’t see as many waterfalls as I would have hoped. Of the three I did visit, all had some water, though.

Paradise Falls was the first waterfall I visited. It is north/west of Los Angeles. While the parking area was bustling, there seemed to be an equilibrium of people leaving and entering, so I was able to find a parking spot quickly. There are a number of hiking trails, so I was disoriented for a short time, but finally (and without much stress) found the trail to Paradise Falls. Much of the trail is easy hiking, except for the last third or so, which involves hiking downhill. It’s not terrible by any means, though. The hike I took later that day (to Sturtevant Falls) involved a longer downhill hike.

The falls are busy, and there is a certain unique smell (consider that a sign indicates one water source for the falls is municipal). Even so, I think it was my favorite of the three in terms of an actual waterfall. If you’re in the area, and you want to enjoy the outdoors, this is definitely a great place to do so.

Directions:

  1. From US-101, take the exit onto Lynn Road (in the Thousand Oaks area).
  2. Head north on Lynn Road for a few miles.
  3. Turn left onto Avenida de los Arboles, and drive to the very end of this road.
  4. At the end, you’ll find the parking area. You’ll want to follow the Mesa Trail. Keep going until you find the sign indicating the trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 40′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Paradise Falls?

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