Nojoqui Falls

near Solvang / Santa Barbara County, California, USA

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 1
Nojoqui Falls
Nojoqui Falls (pronounced "no-HO-wee") is an impressive 80ft moss and fern fringed waterfall that seem to be somewhat common in the Southern California area.

What's cool about this waterfall is that it seems to grow the rock cliff over where it flows so the bedrock supporting the falls is actually protruding from the rest of the cliff. According to the signs here, it's said that this is a consequence of the water from the falls depositing minerals in much the same way stalactites grow because water dripping through the caves leaves deposits behind over time.

Julie and I enjoyed the short 10-minute (about 0.6 miles round trip) walk as it meandered through a very lush and peaceful canyon. The terrain was gentle so it really felt more like a stroll. Considering that we visited this falls shortly after a clearing rain storm, we also enjoyed seeing water droplets hanging from the foliage all around us as well as breathing in the crisp, cool air.

Now given that the falls was attractive, well signposted, had a short and pleasant walk, and was quite close to the Danish-influenced town of Solvang, we could totally see why this would be a very popular attraction. We just so happened to show up on a day when most people were at work and there were still a handful of people here. So imagine just how much busier it would get on the weekends!

Even though we managed to see the waterfall in satisfying flow, I have read that it is seasonal. Therefore, I'd imagine that this waterfall is best seen during the Winter and early Spring months during a year with average or above average Winter precipitation in the Southland.

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Looking up towards the top of Nojoqui FallsLooking up towards the top of Nojoqui Falls
Close to Nojoqui Falls is the charming Danish town of SolvangClose to Nojoqui Falls is the charming Danish town of Solvang
Solvang was about an hour's drive or so west of Santa Barbara, and nearby that town was Carpinteria, which featured a pleasant stretch of beachSolvang was about an hour's drive or so west of Santa Barbara, and nearby that town was Carpinteria, which featured a pleasant stretch of beach
The car park for the fallsThe car park for the falls

Starting on the relaxing stroll to Nojoqui FallsStarting on the relaxing stroll to Nojoqui Falls

The short trail was definitely lush and sereneThe short trail was definitely lush and serene

About to cross a bridge amidst the lush sceneryAbout to cross a bridge amidst the lush scenery

Approaching Nojoqui FallsJulie approaches Nojoqui Falls

Julie checks out Nojoqui FallsJulie checks out the falls

Look closely and you can see the rock protruding where the water flowsLook closely and you can see the rock protruding where the water flows (compared to the rest of the cliff)

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Sweep from bottom to top of the waterfall. Notice the texture of the protruding rock and the surrounding ferns and moss.

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You can reach this waterfall by driving on the US101 some 40 miles north of Santa Barbara where the freeway starts to turn inland from the coast (just north of Gaviota State Beach).

There are signposts for Nojoqui Park (they start as you're descending on the highway as you're heading north). Take the corresponding exit and continue following the signs to the car park (going a mile on Old Coast Hwy then turning left onto Alisal Rd then turning right after 0.8mi to the park entrance).

By the way, as alluded to earlier, Nojoqui Falls is only a few miles south of Lompoc and the charming Danish town of Solvang so there's really no excuse not to check out the falls while you're in the area!

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Quite a Hike! (Nojoqui Falls) 
We arrived at the park that is near these falls and were told that there is a ten minute walk. But it's a ten minute walk FROM the ENTRANCE. Actually …

Nojoqui Falls Is Just Beautiful! 
I've been living in Santa Barbara for 3 1/2 years. A photographer friend of mine invited me to go with her to Nojoqui Falls one afternoon, so off we …

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