Paradise Falls

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Paradise Falls

My dad suggested we take this hike that he found in the LA Times from stair-hiker Charles Fleming. The hike begins in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks, and is about 3 miles roundtrip. Popular on a weekend, this hike starts at the parking lot and begins to curve down into the valley.

We were lucky it was an overcast day because a hike like this, with a lot of it being in open air, would be harsh if it were sunny. Though once we got down into the canyon, the lush overgrowth shaded our dusty walk.

Farther down the path was a large tepee for shade and a spot to relax. Switchback roads took us deeper into the canyon where eventually, we could hear flowing water. This area hasn’t seen rain in a long time, making it feel like one of the driest winters, so we didn’t expect to see any water. A dried up stream doesn’t really count as a flowing waterfall, right?

But we were pleasantly surprised when we descended upon the waterfall nestled in a valley. This prime location was crowded with people, dogs, and families snapping pictures and traversing the little river to see the waterfall from a better angle. I was surprised how tall the waterfall was! Usually, a few trickles can constitute a waterfall, but this was way better.

Once we got down to the base of the falls, as if by coincidence, it started to rain. The area really looked like it needed it. And fortunately for us, it made a lot of people decide to head back the way they came. So we were able to cross the stream without being embarrassed about how we each almost fell…

This waterfall looked beautiful at every angle. Erosion created a little cove next to the falls that completed the look of the place. The pool the water fell into was picturesque and all the rock formations creating the valley made for a great backdrop. It was definitely worth the uphill/downhill/uphill traverse that was our hike. We turned at the waterfall and followed a different path back, creating a large loop. While it was quite a dusty journey, the sprinkling helped cool us down and make our trek less dry.

Check out the link to the hike, so you can see Paradise Falls for yourself!

With so much Chumash influence, I wrote a story about what it would be like if this were a holy place to the Native Americans.

All photos below taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 (easier to travel with than a DSLR).

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