DIRECTIONS: From the Moorpark Freeway (23), exit on Avenida de Los Arboles and go west (a right turn if you are coming from Moorpark). Follow Avenida de Los Arboles until it ends at Big Sky Drive. Make a U-turn and the park entrance is on the right side of the road.
The Trail: Take the Moonridge Trail to the Paradise Falls Trail. All the trails in this park are well marked- just follow the signs!
Distance: 3 miles roundtrip but we hiked past the Waterfall and back towards the picnic areas (Skunk Hollow) and then headed back towards the Indian Cave – taking the Indian Creek Trail. I would guesstimate that we added maybe another 1/2 mile on to the hike.
Ease: Moderate if you’re in good shape, a bit difficult if you’re still “a little” fat: The initial part ot the trail is fairly easy. You actually hike down into the canyon and then up and then down and then up…you get the picture. You will hit 2 or 3 sets of stairs (I hate stairs) on the way there AND coming back as well.
Bring/Wear: A ton of WATER (I brought 100 liters in my Camelbak), SUNSCREEN, A HAT, comfortable clothes that will keep you cool in the heat (or warm in the WINTER), hiking boots are best and ALWAYS pack your emergency gear even if it’s a short hike. Pack a HEALTHY picnic because there are TONS of picnic tables past the waterfall (at Skunk Hollow). Before the waterfall, there’s a great Tee Pee to stop and have lunch in AND (if you can get it) a great table right by the falls itself.
Cell Service: Nope
Kid Friendly? It’s steep in some places so ages 8 and up as long as they’re closely supervised
Dogs? On a leash.
The Low Down: Smack in the middle of SUBURBAN SPRAWL is this fantastic park! Now Robbie (my co-host) said that as a kid, he grew up exploring this park but I don’t think he got very far because he had NO IDEA there was a waterfall here. Apparently, he never read the big trail marker that says “PARADISE FALLS” but for some reason, I don’t think he did much reading as a kid so this doesn’t surprise me. ANYway…
We parked in the dirt lot and proceeded to the Information Board to get a read on the trails…
There’s a lot of brief switchbacks and though the elevation wasn’t too bad, I kinda got tired doing the uphill parts of our adventure.
There are several sets of stairs throughout the park and I hated every last step. I curse at you, EVIL STAIRS and spit in your general direction!
After DEALING with the stairs, up another hill we went until we reached this trail marker (which is very attractive, I might add).
USEFUL FACT: There is a working water fountain up here just in case you didn’t bring enough agua with you. Hydrate on, young Solider!
After enjoying a healthy lunch, the warm sun and the most amazing breeze-we headed off to the falls. This was basically a downhill desent on a dirt fire road which lead to a grove of pine trees and then the semi hidden falls.
We arrived at the FALLS and decided to take the trail above Indian Creek before we went to the actual Falls themselves. That was a great idea because we were able to see the source of the falls and just how deep and FAST they were.
AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THE STAR OF OUR SHOW…