Posted by: GeekHiker | March 18, 2007

HIKE: Trail Canyon Falls

Trail Canyon Falls is one of those hikes that’s pleasant enough.  It’s an easy drive to the trailhead, the parking lot is nicely sized, the hike is pretty short, the falls are moderately nice, even with the little rainfall that we’ve had this year.  There can be a bit of a scramble to reach the base of the falls (well worth it).  All in all, a nice, pleasant little two hour hike.

Which probably explains why I haven’t done it in ten years or so.

The longer I’ve hiked in LA, the further and further out I’ve tended to venture.  The hikes get longer, more interesting, and there’s fewer people.  Heck, there are even some hikes that don’t have any graffiti on the rocks.  In LA County!  Imagine!

But, after nearly a decade, it seemed worthwhile to join a small group of hikers and venture back to the falls again.

After parking at the trail head, not blocking any driveways of the lucky bastards with grandfathered in-holdings, head up the canyon past the sign that shows the trails in the area.  After crossing over a small ridge, the trail follows the creek for a half mile or so.  After crossing the creek, the trail heads up the west canyon wall above the creek.  This section is open and exposed, on a summer day you will most likely fry like an egg.

After another mile of climbing, the falls come into view around a bend.  You descend along the west wall towards them, and several use trails leave the main trail to the right to the base of the falls.  It can be a bit of a scramble, but it’s well worth it to reach the cool grotto and shallow pool at the bottom.

Alternatively, you can head further up canyon to a point where the trail crosses back over the stream and backtrack along the stream to the lip of the falls.  The trail continues on up-canyon to a couple of trail campsites, although the trail appeared to be very overgrown when I went last weekend.

It’s a pleasant 2-3 hour trip, perfect for a quick getaway from the city if you live in the area.  Ten years from now, I’m sure I’ll be back.

Total distance: ~3 miles

Park: Angeles National Forest (Forest Permit required to park)


Directions: From the 210, exit at Sunland Blvd., turn east.  Make a left (north) at Oro Vista, and follow to the end.  The road will bend to the right and become Big Tujunga Canyon Road.  Drive up the canyon to approximately mile marker 2.0 and turn left onto a dirt road.  Drive up the dirt road, taking the right fork (there should be a sign) to the parking lot.  National Forest Permit ($5/day or $30/year) required.



  1. Dear Geek Hiker,

    It was pleasing to read about Temescal Canyon and your experience with the beauty of the mountains. Now…the secret that the locals have shared for years is out in the open.

    I’ve created a few videos regarding Temescal. It can be seen on the link shown below.

    There are a few Temescal short video clips that can be seen at myspace site.



  2. […] Trail Canyon Trail on (single) […]

  3. Dear Geek Hiker,

    First of all, thank you for the detailed information you have shared to all of us. We were hoping to get away from the city and do this hike. We were initially aiming for the zuma falls/ newton canyon trail but we didn’t want anything too strenuous for our beagle/corgi dog. He’s used to hiking and camping but we were advised not to bring him for that hike. So my questions is, is it okay to bring him with us for this particular trail? You can email me at

    Thank you for your time.

    -Raina and Virgil

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