About La Jolla Canyon Falls
La Jolla Canyon Falls is another waterfall attraction in Point Mugu State Park nestled within the Santa Monica Mountains (the other waterfall being Sycamore Canyon Falls).
It would typically consist of an upper tier that was about 15ft as well as an apparent lower tier that was slightly taller but harder to reach.
Unfortunately, all three times that we’ve visited this waterfall, we’ve only seen it either trickling or almost dry (see photo above).
Our latest failure with the falls followed five consecutive days of El Nino downpours.
The prior attempt a year earlier to that followed three consecutive days of heavy rains.
Given these developments, I’m inclined to believe this is really nothing more than an ephemeral waterfall and would only put on a show if you got real lucky and timed it just right.
With such lack of longevity and unpredictability, La Jolla Canyon Falls probably shouldn’t really count as a legitimate waterfall.
At least it shouldn’t count based on the criteria that we’ve defined in a write-up about how you determine if a waterfall is legit or not.
Maybe the storms just so happened to miss the La Jolla Canyon drainage though I somehow doubt it given the breadth and longevity of these storms.
Or, maybe climate change already killed off the reliability of this waterfall?
Anyways, we figured you’ll need a year of substantial and sustained rainfall (like the record rains of 2005) in order to revive this waterfall.
Only then would we feel like it would be worth it to pay the $8 day use fee as of 2010 (which was $5 when I revised this page in 2009 following the 2nd attempt).
The hike to the La Jolla Canyon Falls is about 1.6 miles round trip from the well-signed La Jolla Canyon Trail and parking lot.
There are signs warning you about ticks on this trail.
Having been bit by one of these before, I’d recommend you heed the warnings, stay on the trail, tuck your pants in your socks or boots, and then do visual inspections with your fellow hikers before getting in your car to leave.
La Jolla Canyon Falls resides in the Point Mugu State Park near Oxnard in Ventura County, California. It is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.
More generally, the drive from downtown Los Angeles to the falls would be 50 miles (nearly 2 hours drive with moderate traffic) via PCH.
Alternately, the drive would take about the same mount of time to go a longer route via the 101, which would pass through Camarillo and the outskirts of Oxnard before arriving at the trailhead from the west.
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