Paradise Falls, caAt the end of August in Southern California, you don’t expect to find running water and a beautiful cascading waterfall – but that is exactly what we found during our hike through Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks, California.

Thousand Oaks is situated at the southern end of Ventura County, adjacent to Los Angeles County. The area in and around TO, as it is called by its residents, is full of parks and recreational facilities.

Our surprising waterfall was hidden within a deep valley at the park - near Avenida De Los Arboles and North Big Sky Drive intersection. Free parking is available off West Avenida De Los Arboles.

The park has many trails to choose from. Some of them are dirt access roads – mainly used by bikers, and others are foot trails of varying difficulty.

Tip: Get a map of the trails before you leave home. The parking lot doesn’t have any services.

Cactus forest at Wildwood ParkStart your hike by taking Moonridge trail, heading east—away from the mountains. Follow the signs leading you to Teepee Overlook (a nice place to relax in the shade and enjoy the scenery).

From the Teepee Overlook, hike down Wildwood Canyon trail to the waterfalls. The hike is steep at times – if you have small children, watch out for the narrow paths.

As you approach your destination, you will start hearing the flowing water in the creek and the sound of the waterfall. After climbing down several wooden steps, you will be rewarded with a large pool and the 70-foot waterfall.  A few picnic tables are available close to the waterfall.

Tip: Although some websites mentioned restrooms at the bottom of the canyon, I didn’t see any. So be prepared.

Paradise Falls - Down streamThe return trip is through the Indian Creek trail. As soon as you leave the waterfall area, turn right into the Wildwood Canyon trail. After a little climb, you will be able to view the waterfall from the top. Pass another small waterfall and a picnic area, cross a wooden bridge, then onto Indian Creek trail to the right.

Tip: Watch out for the Indian Creek trail sign. It is somewhat hidden from view when you are still on the Wildwood Canyon trail.

Indian Creek trail meanders along the banks of the creek and has lots of shade and many picnic areas. You can enjoy a snack or lunch among the trees, birds, critters and running water.

Paradise Falls hike - streamThis part of the trail crosses the creek at various points. When you reach the second crossing, don't take it. Instead, veer sharp to the left and take a small trail that will connect you back to Arboles ave.

Paradise Falls trail at the Adventuerer
Paradise Falls trail at YouTube


1000 Big Sky Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA