Paradise Falls (Wildwood Falls)

Wildwood Park / Thousand Oaks, California, USA

About Paradise Falls (Wildwood Falls)


Hiking Distance: 2.4 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2001-06-03
Date last visited: 2019-03-24

Waterfall Latitude: 34.21438
Waterfall Longitude: -118.91069

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Paradise Falls (also referred to as Wildwood Falls) was a lovely 40ft waterfall in the canyons of Wildwood Park.

It was also the first waterfall that Julie and I visited together, and we had such a positive experience that we wound up seeing others in the greater Los Angeles area!

Paradise_Falls_14_064_03302014 - Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls

Years later, we brought our daughter when she was only a year old and even on subsequent visits when she was old enough to hike unassisted.

We’ve also shared this experience with my parents so visiting Paradise Falls was definitely a family-friendly affair.

Sitting in the Thousand Oaks area well west of the Los Angeles basin, this waterfall also tended to reside in an area with a bit of a hot and dry climate.

However, this seemed like one of the rare waterfalls that somehow managed to thrive in this climate.

Wildwood_008_04082012 - The trail was easy enough for us to take our 1-year-old daughter
The trail was easy enough for us to take our 1-year-old daughter

Each time we’ve visited Paradise Falls (at least a half-dozen times or more), the waterfall has performed nicely.

Given all these factors, I guess we found it fitting to put this falls on our list of Top 10 Southern California Waterfalls.

Over the years that we’ve hiked to this waterfall, we gravitated towards two different approaches.

The first approach was perhaps the most popular option because it went directly to Paradise Falls.

Paradise_Falls_015_04162016 - The main parking lot for Paradise Falls began near this suburban residential community by Wildwood Park
The main parking lot for Paradise Falls began near this suburban residential community by Wildwood Park

The second approach was the more scenic route as it allowed us to explore a Native American cave, a narrow canyon alongside Indian Creek, and some additional trail options to vary up scenery on the return hike.

Paradise Falls Trail Description – The Mesa Trail and North Teepee Trail Approach

In my mind, this was the most direct approach to Paradise Falls, and it required only a 2.4-mile round-trip hike from the main parking lot.

It started from the main entrance (see directions below), then followed the Mesa Trail and North Teepee Trail before arriving at Paradise Falls.

This route basically formed an upside-down L shape, and most of its net 250ft drop in elevation came right at the end.

Paradise_Falls_14_011_03302014 - Context of the Mesa Trail just past part of an unpaved road leading to a different parking area within Wildwood Park
Context of the Mesa Trail just past part of an unpaved road leading to a different parking area within Wildwood Park

From the main parking lot, we followed the obvious trail to the right.

It briefly climbed a short hill, then it descended towards a wide unpaved road about 0.2 miles from the start.

That road turned out to be part of the Public Access Road to the other parking lot, which we can get more into in the directions section.

But for the intent of the hike from the main parking lot, this road made up about 0.1-mile of the overall Mesa Trail stretch.

Paradise_Falls_14_015_03302014 - The Mesa Trail was flanked by the namesake mesas on one side and a natural gas pipeline on the other
The Mesa Trail was flanked by the namesake mesas on one side and a natural gas pipeline on the other

The Mesa Trail continued straight past a vehicle barricade while the Public Access Road veered sharply to the left.

So keeping right to stay on the Mesa Trail, we then continued on a flat and open area for the next 0.2 miles..

To our right were the namesake mesas towering over us.

Depending on the conditions, wildflowers could color the foothills yellow and purple.

To our left were some natural gas pipelines as well as prickly bush.

Paradise_Falls_14_025_03302014 - We kept an eye on our daughter on this steep descending part of the Paradise Falls direct trail
We kept an eye on our daughter on this steep descending part of the Paradise Falls direct trail

Then, the Mesa Trail made a junction with the North Teepee Trail.

We left the Mesa Trail and took the North Teepee Trail, which passed by a junction with the Stagecoach Bluff Trail before passing by another junction with the Moon Ridge Trail.

The trail then descended steeply at roughly 80-120ft elevation loss to the namesake Teepee.

This sturdy Teepee was not a genuine Native American shelter as it acted more like a resting and picnic area.

Paradise_Falls_040_04162016 - Descending towards a three-way junction where a sturdy shelter modeled after a Native American Teepee was located en route to the Paradise Falls
Descending towards a three-way junction where a sturdy shelter modeled after a Native American Teepee was located en route to the Paradise Falls

It sat at a three-way junction roughly a half-mile from where we left the Mesa Trail.

Next, we’d keep right at the Teepee to follow the Teepee Trail for the next 0.2 miles as the trail continued descending.

We noticed the contours of Wildwood Canyon on our left during this stretch, where we often see wildflowers in bloom here in the Spring.

The trail then reached another signed junction, where we left the Teepee Trail and descended on the direct downhill trail.

Paradise_Falls_167_03242019 - Looking downhill into Wildwood Canyon as we left the Teepee and approached the trail dropping down into its depths
Looking downhill into Wildwood Canyon as we left the Teepee and approached the trail dropping down into its depths

After a couple of switchbacks, this downhill trail would intersect with the Wildwood Canyon Trail.

We then continued down steps before reaching the banks of Indian Creek and the plunge pool of Paradise Falls.

The edge of this plunge pool marked the official end of the waterfall trail.

We noticed other trails continuing further downstream into the canyon to attractions like Lizard Roc, but since we didn’t venture further downstream, we can’t say more about that.

Paradise_Falls_076_02212010 - The bubbly and smelly plunge pool before Paradise Falls, which we suspected was polluted by runoff coming from suburban developments. It definitely was not a good idea to swim here
The bubbly and smelly plunge pool before Paradise Falls, which we suspected was polluted by runoff coming from suburban developments. It definitely was not a good idea to swim here

A craggy protruding rock blocked the view of all but the very bottom of Paradise Falls.

So that compelled us to cross the creek while trying to keep the feet dry (Gore-tex boots helps).

Once we got to the other side, we enjoyed full frontal views of Paradise Falls (as you can see at the top of this page).

I’d imagine that depending on Indian Creek’s flow, this stream crossing can be shallower or deeper than what we’ve described.

Paradise_Falls_098_04162016 - Direct look at Paradise Falls from across its plunge pool during a beautiful afternoon in the Spring of 2016
Direct look at Paradise Falls from across its plunge pool during a beautiful afternoon in the Spring of 2016

Thus, you may want to assess your situation before you decide to cross.

After having our fill of this falls, we had the option of extending our hike or just going back the way we came.

This out-and-back hike was by far the most popular way to experience Paradise Falls as evidenced by the increasing volume of people doing it this way over the years.

It normally would take us about 30-40 minutes each way so I’d budget at least about 90 minutes.

Paradise Falls Trail Description – The Wildwood Canyon Trail and Moonridge Trail Approach

Paradise_Falls_007_03242019 - Context of the Teepee and part of the Moonridge Trail seen from the spillover parking lot
Context of the Teepee and part of the Moonridge Trail seen from the spillover parking lot

This second option for approaching Paradise Falls started from a spillover parking lot (though we have also done it from the main parking lot).

In the past, this spillover lot was labeled “Parking Lot No.1”.

From this parking lot, we could peer down in the distance at the Teepee picnic area and shelter.

We could also look in the opposite direction at the mesas in the distance towards the Mesa Trail.

Paradise_Falls_037_03242019 - Tahia climbing up to the opening of the Indian Cave
Tahia climbing up to the opening of the Indian Cave

Anyways, the hike started off by descending a pair of gentle curves on its way towards Indian Creek.

This descending stretch went for about 0.3 miles to a spur trail just before a footbridge over Indian Creek.

That spur trail led about 0.1-mile to the foot of the Indian Cave, which was basically more like a natural alcove or shelter.

However, there was a small crawl-space opening at its longest end, and there appeared to be a use-trail that continued back uphill from the other end of this opening.

Paradise_Falls_042_03242019 - Looking towards the crawl space at the far end of Indian Cave
Looking towards the crawl space at the far end of Indian Cave

After having our fill of this cave, we went back down and returned to the footbridge.

On the other side of the footbridge, there were other trails like the Indian Creek Trail to the left as well as the Meadows Picnic Area.

There also seemed to be some informal connectors to the Lynnmere Trail.

Just uphill and around a bend was the Meadows Center, which was an amphitheater that would typically host ranger talks or programs under the stars.

Paradise_Falls_061_03242019 - The amphitheater at the Meadows Center near the footbridge over Indian Creek
The amphitheater at the Meadows Center near the footbridge over Indian Creek

There was also a toilet facility with flush toilets.

Back across the bridge, we then followed Indian Creek downstream along the Wildwood Canyon Trail.

After about 0.2 miles from the footbridge, there was a spur trail climbing uphill on the Teepee Trail eventually leading 0.2 miles up to the Teepee itself.

That said, we continued on the Wildwood Canyon Trail where there was a picnic area right at a bend in the trail alongside Indian Creek.

Paradise_Falls_078_03242019 - Approaching the narrowest part of the Wildwood Canyon Trail
Approaching the narrowest part of the Wildwood Canyon Trail

The park map indicated that there was a Little Falls here, but I honestly didn’t see much in the way of a notable waterfall.

Next, the Wildwood Canyon Trail continued into its narrowest section where it followed a ledge flanked by cacti on one side and fences with dropoffs on the other.

Down below us remained Indian Creek but we started to see some small upper cascades of Paradise Falls.

Eventually, the trail would join up with a trail junction connecting the spur trail from the Teepee Trail and the descent to the Paradise Falls.

Paradise_Falls_103_03242019 - Looking over the top of Paradise Falls in context with some of its upper cascades as seen from the Wildwood Canyon Trail
Looking over the top of Paradise Falls in context with some of its upper cascades as seen from the Wildwood Canyon Trail

After having our fill of the falls, we then went all the way up to the Teepee Trail instead of taking the Wildwood Canyon Trail back.

At about 0.2 miles east on the Teepee Trail, we reached the namesake Teepee.

Then, we hiked uphill on the North Teepee Trail for about 0.1-mile before veering onto the Moonridge Trail.

The Moonridge Trail was about a half-mile in distance, and it ultimately took us back to the spillover parking lot.

Paradise_Falls_187_03242019 - Looking towards wildflowers fronting mesas from the Moonridge Trail
Looking towards wildflowers fronting mesas from the Moonridge Trail

This trail was much quieter than the other wider trails we had walked on to this point.

Thus, we were able to observe more wildflowers, cacti, and the odd views back towards the mesas since we were hiking on an undulating ridge.

Overall, the distance we covered was probably on the order of a little over 2 miles to cover this entire loop.

Had we started from the main parking lot, then this hike would have been at least over three miles round trip.

Paradise_Falls_220_03242019 - Context of part of the Moonridge Trail with some suburban developments and canyons way in the distance while hiking the Moonridge Trail back to the spillover parking lot
Context of part of the Moonridge Trail with some suburban developments and canyons way in the distance while hiking the Moonridge Trail back to the spillover parking lot

Like with the primary option, we spent between 90 minutes and two hours at a leisurely pace.

Authorities

Paradise Falls resides in Wildwood Park, which is part of the Conejo Recreation and Park District in Thousand Oaks of Ventura County, California. It is administered jointly by the community of Conejo Valley and the City of Thousand Oaks. For information or inquiries about this park as well as current conditions, visit the Conejo Recreation and Park District website.

Paradise_Falls_002_03242019 - A small sheltered picnic area at the spillover parking lot, which we started our Paradise Falls hike from in March 2019.  This photo and the next several photos came from this wildflower-laced visit
Paradise_Falls_003_03242019 - Looking back across the spillover parking lot towards the mesas in the distance before hiking down towars Wildwood Canyon on our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_013_03242019 - Julie and Tahia descending from the spillover parking lot and descending towards Wildwood Canyon during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_015_03242019 - Tahia and Julie already encountering wildflowers on the initial descent from the spillover parking lot en route to Wildwood Canyon in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_029_03242019 - Sign leading us towards the Indian Cave towards the bottom of the initial descent from the spillover parking lot at Wildwood Park
Paradise_Falls_032_03242019 - Closer look at some of the wildflowers that were blooming in Wildwood Park in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_033_03242019 - Tahia approaching the Indian Cave up ahead in Wildwood Park
Paradise_Falls_035_03242019 - Tahia about to climb up to the Indian Cave during our March 2019 hike to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_039_03242019 - Tahia climbing up into the mouth of the Indian Cave during our March 2019 visit to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_045_03242019 - Looking back down at the upper opening of the Indian Cave in Wildwood Park
Paradise_Falls_048_03242019 - Contextual view of the spur trail to the Indian Cave as well as the Wildwood Canyon Trail as seen from the top of the Indian Cave itself
Paradise_Falls_051_03242019 - Tahia crawling back out of the Indian Cave after having our fill of it
Paradise_Falls_057_03242019 - Looking towards the Meadows Picnic Area after shortly coming up to it after crossing the footbridge over Indian Creek just to see what was up here
Paradise_Falls_068_03242019 - Julie and Tahia hiking along Indian Creek towards Wildwood Canyon. Note the teepee higher up on the hillside
Paradise_Falls_069_03242019 - Signed spur trail that would have taken us up to the teepee, but we stayed within Wildwood Canyon to continue towards the Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_071_03242019 - During the day of our hike to Paradise Falls via Wildwood Canyon in March 2019, there were quite a few people out and about
Paradise_Falls_072_03242019 - Looking back at the context of Indian Creek with the Wildwood Canyon Trail en route to Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_076_03242019 - A nice picnic area alongside Indian Creek as we approached Wildwood Canyon during our March 2019 visit to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_083_03242019 - Looking back at the Wildwood Canyon Trail where there were cacti on one side and Indian Creek on the other
Paradise_Falls_091_03242019 - Looking down over some of the upper cascades upstream from the Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_106_03242019 - Approaching a trail junction where the Wildwood Canyon Trail hooked up with the final stretch of trail leading down to the Paradise Falls. Note the big field of wildflowers as Spring 2019 was a great year for them
Paradise_Falls_107_03242019 - Descending to Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_110_03242019 - Closeup look at one of the wildflowers during our visit to Paradise Falls in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_112_03242019 - I didn't recall seeing this sign before in all the years we've been to Paradise Falls, but this sign (seen in our 2019 visit) pretty much reinforces the hazard of getting into the water here.
Paradise_Falls_118_03242019 - Context of some people chilling out before the Paradise Falls in the morning of our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_123_03242019 - Looking down at some people gathered around the front side of the plunge pool for Paradise Falls where a rock protrusion kept us from seeing the rest of its drop from here
Paradise_Falls_129_03242019 - Checking out some more wildflowers as seen along the hike from Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_138_03242019 - Context of the wildflowers in bloom during our March 2019 visit after having had our fill of the Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_145_03242019 - Tahia hiking back amongst a large field of wildflowers during our March 2019 visit from Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_153_03242019 - Hiking up towards the teepee after having had our fill of the Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_172_03242019 - Looking back at the teepee as we made our way to Moonridge Trail en route to the spillover parking lot during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_175_03242019 - Context of Julie and Tahia heading back on the Moonridge Trail towards the spillover parking lot. It was much quieter on this trail compared to the other trails around Paradise Falls during our March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_194_03242019 - Tahia pointed out some cacti along the Moonridge Trail on the way back to the spillover parking lot
Paradise_Falls_195_03242019 - Some of the cacti had some things blooming on them as seen during our return hike along the Moonridge Trail en route to the spillover parking lot during March 2019 visit
Paradise_Falls_201_03242019 - Looking up at another grove of flowering cacti along the Moonridge Trail in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_212_03242019 - Julie and Tahia going down then up an undulating part of the Moonridge Trail after having had our fill of the Paradise Falls in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_225_03242019 - Julie and Tahia approaching the spillover parking lot to end our Paradise Falls excursion in March 2019
Paradise_Falls_002_04162016 - Julie and Tahia walking towards the main parking lot after we managed to find some street parking for our Paradise Falls visit in April 2016. This photo and the next several photos in the gallery took place on this day
Paradise_Falls_004_04162016 - Julie getting started on the Mesa Trail en route to the most direct way to access the Paradise Falls as of our April 2016 hike
Paradise_Falls_007_04162016 - Julie and Tahia descending towards the unpaved road en route to the Mesa Trail further in the distance during our April 2016 hike
Paradise_Falls_017_04162016 - Julie and Tahia walking onto the Mesa Trail where we were about to approach a trail junction with the North Teepee Trail during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_022_04162016 - Julie and Tahia now on the North Teepee Trail as we had just left the Mesa Trail
Paradise_Falls_024_04162016 - Looking towards the residences nearby the Wildwood Park en route to the Paradise Falls via the North Teepee Trail
Paradise_Falls_026_04162016 - Julie and Tahia descending on the North Teepee Trail en route to Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_031_04162016 - Looking in one direction towards one of the lower trails skirting Wildwood Canyon as seen from the North Teepee Trail during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_034_04162016 - Looking in the other direction towards the suburban neighborhoods skirting the rim of Wildwood Canyon as seen from the North Teepee Trail in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_036_04162016 - Julie and Tahia bypassing the Moonridge Trail as we descended to the teepee during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_042_04162016 - The Teepee
Paradise_Falls_045_04162016 - Julie and Tahia now descending from the Teepee and heading closer to the Paradise Falls during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_051_04162016 - Julie and Tahia now leaving the Teepee Trail and descending on a narrower trail leading right down towards the Paradise Falls during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_054_04162016 - Julie and Tahia on the narrower trail leading down to Paradise Falls with the steeper parts of Wildwood Canyon in the distance
Paradise_Falls_057_04162016 - Starting to see parts of the Paradise Falls as we continued our descent to that waterfall in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_062_04162016 - Descending to the trail junction with the Wildwood Canyon Trail en route to Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_063_04162016 - Julie and Tahia going by one of the picnic tables near Paradise Falls during our April 2016 hike
Paradise_Falls_065_04162016 - Julie and Tahia on the final descent to the base of Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_070_04162016 - This was as much of the Paradise Falls that we could see from its front side given the rock protrusion. Note the falls still had decent flow even though we were coming off several consecutive years of drought before 2016
Paradise_Falls_077_04162016 - Looking back at the descent leading to the base of Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_078_04162016 - Direct view of Paradise Falls from the other side of Indian Creek as seen during our visit in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_085_04162016 - Looking back across at the stream crossing of Indian Creek before the Paradise Falls as of April 2016
Paradise_Falls_087_04162016 - Context of Julie checking out Paradise Falls and its plunge pool as seen in April 2016 under gorgeous weather
Paradise_Falls_108_04162016 - Closer look at the plunge pool fronting the Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_110_04162016 - Context of Julie and Tahia choosing to return via the direct hike up to the Teepee Trail instead of the straight ahead to the Wildwood Canyon Trail during our April 2016 visit
Paradise_Falls_113_04162016 - Looking ahead at Julie approaching the teepee on our return from Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_126_04162016 - Julie and Tahia leaving the teepee and headed back towards the Mesa Trail on the return hike from Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_131_04162016 - Lovely cliffs overlooking the Mesa Trail seen on the return hike from Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_134_04162016 - As we were back on the main trail (Mesa Trail?) and headed to the parking lot, signs indicated Lizard Rock was up ahead on that main trail. And after closer inspection of that rock up ahead, I can better appreciate how it got its name
Paradise_Falls_135_04162016 - Julie and Tahia hiking back alongside some natural gas pipes along the Mesa Trail as we were returning from Paradise Falls in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_146_04162016 - Julie and Tahia finally making it back down to the main parking lot and trailhead for Paradise Falls, thereby ending our visit in April 2016
Paradise_Falls_14_006_03302014 - Julie and Tahia starting on the familiar hike to Paradise Falls as of March 2014. This photo and the next several photos came from that day
Paradise_Falls_14_020_03302014 - Turning onto the straightforward route to the tee pee then to Paradise Falls after leaving the Mesa Trail in late March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_021_03302014 - Julie and Tahia continuing on the North Teepee Trail during our visit to Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_026_03302014 - Looking into Wildwood Canyon from the shortest trail to Paradise Falls during our March 2014 visit
Paradise_Falls_14_030_03302014 - Julie and Tahia descending down to the Teepee in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_041_03302014 - Julie and Tahia leaving the teepee and descending towards Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_043_03302014 - Julie and Tahia leaving the Teepee Trail and now continuing on this signposted descent on a narrower trail to the base of Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_045_03302014 - Context of the narrow trail that Julie and Tahia took to continue descending to Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_048_03302014 - Julie and Tahia descending the final steps leading to the base of Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_049_03302014 - View of the Paradise Falls before crossing the creek in late March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_098_03302014 - After having our fill of Paradise Falls in March 2014, Julie and Tahia started to hike back up towards the teepee and eventually to the main parking lot
Paradise_Falls_14_108_03302014 - Looking back towards the suburban neighborhoods fringing Wildwood Canyon on our return hike from Paradise Falls in late March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_110_03302014 - Tahia trying to catch up to Julie while on the Teepee Trail en route to the Mesa Trail on our return hike from Paradise Falls in March 2014
Paradise_Falls_14_123_03302014 - Returning to the Paradise Falls Trailhead parking lot to end our March 2014 visit
Wildwood_006_04082012 - Looking back at the main parking lot during our April 2012 visit to Paradise Falls. This photo and the next few took place on this day
Wildwood_012_04082012 - Some wildflowers in bloom while Julie was carrying Tahia on the Mesa Trail to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_017_04082012 - Natural gas pipe along the Mesa Trail en route to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_022_04082012 - Looking back towards the mesas and suburban developments as we left the Mesa Trail for the North Teepee Trail en route to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_023_04082012 - Julie taking the direct route (one of many routes) to Paradise Falls with our baby daughter in tow in April 2012
Wildwood_026_04082012 - We noticed mountain bikers along the North Teepee Trail during our visit to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_030_04082012 - Julie carefully descending towards the teepee en route to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_034_04082012 - Julie descending from the teepee towards the spur trail turnoff leading down to the Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_037_04082012 - Context of the Wildwood Canyon Trail and the top of Paradise Falls as we were descending to the waterfall's base in April 2012
Wildwood_040_04082012 - Julie with Tahia in tow on the narrower trail leading to the base of Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_041_04082012 - I noticed this manhole cover during our hike to Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_043_04082012 - Arriving at the base of Paradise Falls in a hazy morning in April 2012
Wildwood_052_04082012 - Frontal view of Paradise Falls in April 2012 against the morning sun
Wildwood_060_04082012 - Context of a lot of people chilling out at Paradise Falls in April 2012
Wildwood_081_04082012 - Julie trying to expose Tahia to the World of Waterfalls as she tries to process her surroundings in April 2012
Wildwood_090_04082012 - Now it was my turn to carry Tahia on the hike back from Paradise Falls during our April 2012 visit
Paradise_Falls_001_02212010 - Looking towards a picnic table in the open air from the spillover parking lot (Parking Lot No.1) during our February 2010 visit to Paradise Falls. This photo and most of the rest of the photos in the photo gallery were taken on this day
Paradise_Falls_005_02212010 - Looking towards some of the surburban homes fringing Wildwood Canyon as seen during our visit in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_018_02212010 - Looking up at the mouth of the Native American Cave during our February 2010 visit to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_021_02212010 - Mom and Julie skirting around a muddy section of the hike leading to Indian Creek during our February 2010 visit to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_024_02212010 - Mom and Julie hiking through the narrow parts of Wildwood Canyon on the Wildwood Canyon Trail en route to Paradise Falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_029_02212010 - We spotted this duck in Wildwood Canyon during our hike to Paradise Falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_030_02212010 - The upper cascades and the main Paradise Falls as seen from the narrow part of the Wildwood Canyon Trail above Indian Creek in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_033_02212010 - We didn't remember seeing these stairs the first time we were here back in 2001, but I guess they made some trail improvements over the years. This was from our February 2010 visit to Paradise Falls
Paradise_Falls_035_02212010 - Arriving at the foamy base of Paradise Falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_042_02212010 - Looking over some reeds before the Paradise Falls in fairly decent flow in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_054_02212010 - With all the reeds growing in Indian Creek in February 2010, this was probably the most direct view of Paradise Falls that we were able to get without actually crossing Indian Creek itself, which was quite a rare occurence in all the years we've done this hike.
Paradise_Falls_063_02212010 - Mom on the other side of Indian Creek checking out Paradise Falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_067_02212010 - Mom crossing the Indian Creek over some reeds that seemed to be in abundance during our February 2010 visit
Paradise_Falls_078_02212010 - Mom and Julie heading back from Paradise Falls via the Wildwood Canyon Trail as we had our fill of the falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_079_02212010 - Looking towards the teepee as we wound up taking a bit of a roundabout route to get here before completing the hike back at the main lot during our visit in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_084_02212010 - Checking out some of the exposed natural gas pipes alongside the Mesa Trail as seen during our return hike from Paradise Falls in February 2010
Paradise_Falls_005_scanned_06032001 - Direct view of Paradise Falls as seen the first time we visited the falls in 2001. Notice how much cleaner the pool looked back then. You could even see some of the rocks submerged in the plunge pool!
Paradise_Falls_002_scanned_06032001 - Paradise Falls seen from an angle partially obstructed by a rock the first time we visited the falls in 2001

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To get to the Paradise Falls trailhead from Los Angeles, we took the US 101 into Thousand Oaks and exited at Lynn Road.

From there, we headed north (turning right from the off-ramp as we’ve exited the 101 west), then we hung a left at Avenida de Los Arboles.

Paradise_Falls_085_02212010 - Looking back at the main parking lot from the Mesa Trail
Looking back at the main parking lot from the Mesa Trail

We followed the Avenida de Los Arboles until the street was about to bend into a residential area.

The main parking lot for Wildwood Park was on the left.

To continue to the spillover parking lot, if the gate was open, there was an unpaved road on the southeast side of the lot.

This “Public Access Road” made a bend to the right before coinciding with the Mesa Trail briefly.

Paradise_Falls_229_03242019 - Very busy spillover parking lot about 0.6 miles beyond the main parking lot on unpaved the Public Access Road
Very busy spillover parking lot about 0.6 miles beyond the main parking lot on unpaved the Public Access Road

After 0.3 miles from the main parking lot, the unpaved road then veered to the left and continued for the final 0.3 miles to the spillover parking lot (formerly called “Parking Lot No.1”).

Just to give you some context of the driving distances, Thousand Oaks was about 13 miles (15 minutes drive) east of Camarillo, 41 miles (under 60 minutes drive depending on traffic) west of downtown Los Angeles, 56 miles (about an hour drive) east of Santa Barbara, and 81 miles (about 90 minutes drive) northwest of Irvine.

Finally, if you’re looking to find something about the Paradise Falls that was featured in the heartfelt movie Up, you’ll want to check out Angel Falls. You may notice a pretty uncanny resemblance! 🙂

The wife and daughter enjoying the falls on a warm, sunny day


Brief bottom up sweep of the falls from the official end of the trail


Deliberate bottom up sweep from the other side of the creek looking from the bubbly pool to a direct look at the falls itself


Top down sweep of the falls following the flow of the water until it reaches the stairs leading to the official end of the trail


Bottom up sweep of the falls from the reeds


Left to right sweep seen from across the creek ending with a frontal view of the falls


Following the flow of the creek past the upper cascades towards the top of the main falls and towards the ravine downstream of the falls

Tagged with: thousand oaks, wildwood, ventura, southern california, california, waterfall, 101, camarillo, the valley



Visitor Comments:

Paradise Falls – Looking forward to heading here for the first time July 24, 2010 8:52 pm by James H - Hey, great review, and great pictures/video! I'm headed there for the first time today and my neighbor mentioned that the water there smells due to runoff water from the local area. You're the only review site that mentioned it. And your before and after pictures of the fall really helped out to verify that and… ...Read More

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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Paradise Falls November 2, 2018 9:22 am by Eric - I've been going to Paradise Falls since the mid 80's. It's a great waterfall but you definitely don't want to swim in the pool. Beyond it being illegal, and the Rangers do write tickets occasionally (especially if you are climbing the rocks), much of the water is gutter water. Just not something you want to… ...Read More
Paradise Falls April 2013 April 15, 2013 5:24 pm by Evonne Rangle - Went for a hike this weekend at Paradise Falls. Perfect weather. Great time. Going to Rose Valley in 2 weeks ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.