Paradise Falls

Moorpark, California 93021

Paradise Falls

Paradise Falls Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks is Ventura County’s most scenic suburban park. The scenery here has been imprinted in the minds of many in the over-50 age group: The area was once an outdoor set for old Hollywood movies, as well as for television’s The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Wagon Train. The short but steep hike—down and then up—described here takes you to Wildwood Park’s scenic gem: the Arroyo Conejo gorge and Paradise Falls. The lovingly maintained park offers drinking fountains, picnic tables, interpretive signs, and shady rest spots along this fine loop."

Paradise Falls Trip Reports

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7/1/2010
Beautiful, but FULL OF TICKS AND BEES! We hiked from the trail head, around the loop, and back down. It's an absolutely stunning hike. You get to experience just about every type of terrain in Southern California in a few short miles. The first part of the hike takes you up a lush, rocky, hillside. There's a beautiful waterfall, but it's dried up this time of year (July). Breathtaking ocean views through the mountains as you climb to the top. Relatively easy to hike if you're capable of navigating large rocks. The trail forks when it levels out. You will climb Point Magu if you hike to the left or the La Jolla Loop Trail if you press ahead. I don't recommend the Loop trail unless you're adequately dressed (long pants, boots, and a long sleeve shirt). The hike is easy, but it guides you through lengthy sections of tall (6 ft.) grass. Ticks LOVE this area. We were not dressed for the occasion (shorts, t-shirts, and boots). Consequently, we were covered with ticks when we emerged from the loop. A few even migrated under my shirt. A large military instillation serves as the backdrop for the first half of the loop (not all that pleasant b/c planes fly by). The second half of the loop is beautiful, but full of active bee hives (we passed several). I wouldn't recommend the loop to anyone who can't tolerate a tick or two. The grass is also too high for children. All that said, the first part of the trail (from the gate to the hilltop) is definitely worth the trip if you're up for a short hike. The second half of the journey is questionable. I'm not entirely convinced the view is worth the bugs, bites, and risk of Lyme Disease. Granted, the risk is extremely low in this part of the country. You can see the other side of the rocky backdrop on the Nichols Flat Trail a few miles south on PCH (if you're up for a 3 mile hike uphill) without all the bugs.

I gave this hike 3 stars because of the ticks.
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12/1/2009
Amazing vistas and completely uncrowded on a Friday in December. We will be back again to try it when the natural grasses are fully grown and flowers are in bloom. The loop sends you through amazingly diverse terrain, despite always keeping you fairly close to the parking lot.
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7/26/2009
Went here in the middle of summer. Because of this, the creek was dry and the waterfall was nonexistent. The hike was great though! The climb up the hills were a good workout. The view was spectacular. We did have haze in the morning, otherwise, it would've been even better! The guide says this hike is 6 miles but my GPS said we walked 6.9 miles. Next time we go, it will most likely be in March, when the river fills.
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8/17/2008
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5/22/2007
Overall a very nice trail. Very pretty views. I went on a day that had moderate fog off the coast. Most of the day the coast was obscurred but it is still a very pretty hike. You still get some wonderful views inland and the pictures I got of the coastal range with the clouds turned out wonderful.

Words of caution. It is not very well marked. The ticks were pretty heavy. And the mileage seems to be a little off. My GPS said I hiked just over 12 miles instead of the 10.6 listed. I do not think I took any wrong turns.
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7/7/2003

This was an excellent hike. It offers a wide range of terrain, with a steady uphill climb to start with. The views were incredible, and we happened to hike on a cool day. There are many options you can take depending on how long of a hike you would like to do. The signage could be better at various intersections, as we took a wrong turn at one point. All trails lead back so you can not get lost. The campground is a nice lunch spot. The waterfall is neat, not spectacular. We got a good workout.
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12/24/2001
This is an incredible course, the finest of all the trails in the Santa Monica Mountians. I run it with the Trail Runners Club many times each year and enjoy new apects of it every time. Runners & hikers interested check our website at www.trailrunnersclub.com and see coures #8 in the guide book titled 50 Trail Runs in Southern California.
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Paradise Falls Photos

Trail Information

Moorpark
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
2.7
Distance
400 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
Duration
All year
Season
Wildwood Park, City of Thousand Oaks
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-minute Newbury Park
Local Maps

Trail Log