Wildwood Park- Thousand Oaks, Ca.- Paradise Falls Trail

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…

This is the first notice we saw hanging on the board. Yup, this is exactly what I want to see before I head out on a hike! Another notice we saw later on in the day in another part of the park said, “How to tell the difference between a Bobcat and a Mountain Lion.” Hmmmm….
#1) Bobcats want to naw on your ankle, Mountain Lions want to eat your face. #2) When you see 200 lbs of BLURRR running towards you, you’ll definitely know the difference.  If you STILL can’t tell the difference- you deserve to be eaten.
 
Our Starting Point:
.  
 
We picked up the Moon Ridge Trail and headed down into the canyon, then up the canyon, then down the canyon- get the picture?

 

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.

 Little did I know I would meet my EVIL NEMESIS:   STAIRS! I Hate stairs.

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).

Which lead us here:Now who doesn’t appreciate a good Tee Pee? You know you like it! As a matter of fact- we liked it so much, we stopped here to have lunch!

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.

 Here are my legs actually hiking. Your DIGGING my new boots, aren’t you? The laces match my pants. Just sayin’.

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…

PARADISE FALLS…Beautiful
Rob and I spent a good 1/2 hour here just taking pictures, boulder hopping and exploring the Creek. Skunk  Hollow Picnic area was just a hop, skip and a jump down the fire road so we decided to see what it looked like.
USEFUL INFORMATION: There is a BATHROOM at SKUNK HOLLOW
OK- so back to the parking lot we go via Indian Creek Trail. On the way, another set of these:
Fucking Stairs…
We took a side trip to the Indian Cave and then began a long, slow hike along the Creek (and UP 3 sets of fucking stairs) until we reached the parking area. The trail came out onto Avenida De Los Arboles and about 4 blocks from the parking area. I was spent and sent Robbie for the car (he’s in better shape then me. HEY! Don’t judge!).
 
The Wrap Up: I was surprised by all the cool stuff we came across. We saw many small waterfalls, a few ducks fishing for food, climbed up to the Indian cave and were able to several deep pools all along Indian Creek. The dragonflies and damselflies were out in droves and their vibrant colors were like  confetti snowing over the wild flowers. I felt more “back to nature” here then I have in an actual forest. I think I needed this to center myself…and guess what? It worked….
             
Just in case you REALLY need to see more of me…Ta Da! Here I iz!
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s