HIKE TO: Trail Canyon Falls TRAILHEAD: Trail Canyon Falls but you will park off Big Tujunga Canyon Road ROUTE: North Trail Canyon Road > Trail Canyon Trail MILES: 4.66 miles out and back TIME: 2 hrs hike time + time at waterfall DATE I WENT: 3/20/22 DIFFICULTY: easy ELEVATION: 2,478 ft / 755 m ELEVATION GAIN: 1,081 ft HIKE PERMIT: no LOCATION: Southern California
Trail Canyon Falls is one of my favorite short, easy, family-friendly waterfall hikes in the Los Angeles area. It’s been a dry winter so GO NOW while the waterfall is still flowing. Be aware though, there is a lot of poison ivy along the trail, specifically around the first half closer to the water.
PARKING & TRAILHEAD: The trailhead is no longer accessible by car so you will park off the main road (Big Tujunga Canyon Road) and walk the extra 0.4 miles to the official TH. This section starts with an incline and then drops down to the TH. There is a residential private property by the trailhead so please be mindful and respectful of your surroundings.
Trail Canyon Trail is easy to follow and relatively flat for the beginning 0.75 miles. You’ll cross a few streams but there are rocks so you won’t ever have to get wet. The trail will then open up to full sun exposure for the next mile with 502 ft of elevation gain. Then it flattens out for just a little bit before you reach an unmarked junction (2.2 miles from the road) where you will decide if you want to take the steep, loose path down to the bottom of Trail Canyon Falls, or continue straight to the top of the falls. I’ve done both and prefer the bottom if you only had time to visit one, but they’re so close and easy to access that you could do both.
Hiking to the bottom of the falls – it’s short but steep and loose so take your time. There are even ropes there but they seem very old and I wouldn’t trust it if you’re good at scrambling on your hands and feet.
Hiking to the top of the falls – it’s been years since I’ve gone that way but I remember it to be close and you will have to turn off to the right to drop down just a little bit. It’s wide and opens up there so you can hang out by the stream that flows down the waterfall.