8 of the Best Waterfalls in Southern California

8 of the Best Waterfalls in Southern California

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8 of the Best Waterfalls in Southern California 4

Hiking is an excellent family activity that gets you moving and appreciating nature, and it’s free! However, enticing kids to go on a hike isn’t always easy. The promise of a breathtaking waterfall and plenty of splashing at the end of a trek can definitely help.

A family hike to one of these breathtaking waterfalls is an excellent way to discover why being considerate of nature is so important.

Best Waterfalls to Explore

Surprisingly, there are many accessible waterfalls in Los Angeles perfect for a family day of exploring nature. However, California droughts and summer heat can put a damper on this fun family activity. It’s a good idea to check local conditions and prepare your kids for the possibility that the water might not be flowing when you arrive.

Eaton Canyon Falls

Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, this waterfall is a 40-foot wonder that is easily accessible by mostly everyone. It’s a 3.5-mile round hike of primarily flat surfaces and without much elevation change. If the day is warm, don’t forget to bring bathing suits!

Address: 1750 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, CA 91001. 

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photo: Monica Nunez

Escondido Falls

The journey towards the gorgeous Escondido Falls is a short and picturesque hiking trail that is merely two miles long, making it one of the most accessible waterfalls on our list. 

The waterfall itself has three tiers and is one of the most breathtaking sights in Malibu.

Address: Escondido Canyon Trail, Malibu, CA 90265.

Paradise Falls

Worry not—you do not need a floating house propelled by balloons to get to these Paradise Falls. 

Located near Thousand Oaks, it is considered a relatively easy hike that extends through 2.8 miles. The Paradise Falls are worth the effort, with a stunning sight and plenty of gorgeous rock formations. 

Address: 928 West Avenida De Los Arboles, Wildwood Regional Park, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. 

Millard Falls 

The trail to reach Millard Falls sits just under two miles round, making it a very accessible and easy hike, suitable for the whole family. Stunning in its structure, the boulder sitting on top of the waterfall turns it into an exceptional sight. 

Address: Chaney Trail, Angeles National Forest, Altadena, CA 91001. 

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photo: Jason Ippolito

Switzer Falls

A 5-miles round trip, visiting the Switzer Falls is a highly rewarding experience for families. Not only is the hike easy and gorgeous, but the stunning waterfall also counts with swimming holes to have a refreshing dip in a hot summer day. 

Address: Switzer Truck Trail, Angeles National Forest, Tujunga, CA 91042.

Waterfalls Worth the Drive

These waterfalls are great destinations for a weekend getaway near Los Angeles.

Bonita Falls

Although the trail is merely 1.5 miles long, it is somewhat rocky, so it requires extra caution. Regardless, the journey towards Bonita Falls is an approachable and gorgeous experience, and the sight of the waterfall itself is stunning. 

Address: Lytle Creek Rd. San Bernardino, CA 92401.

Heart Rock Falls

Heading up to Big Bear? You won’t want to miss this stunning waterfall that owes its name to the gorgeous heart-shaped rock next to it, making it an exceptionally unique sight. Best part? The hike towards it is a relatively short and easy one, consisting of less than two miles. 

Address: 250 CA-138, Crestline, CA 92325. 

Darwin Falls

A hidden oasis of lush greenery right in the middle of the Death Valley National Park, Darwin Falls is a year-round waterfall hidden in the heart of a desert. 

The hike to this wondrous sight is merely a 2-mile-round trajectory, making it an obligatory stop within the Death Valley.

Address: California Highway 190, Death Valley National Park, CA 92328

Featured photo: Flickr

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