Nearly 40,000 acres of open space on the historic Irvine Ranch have been designated a Natural Landmark by both the State of California and the U.S. Department of the Interior. This honor recognizes the exceptional value of these lands to California and the entire nation. This land is part of the 50,000 acres of permanently protected land preserved on the historic Irvine Ranch. The Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks contain important natural habitats and unusual geological formations. The landscape is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, including eagles, badgers, mountain lions, Tecate cypress trees, and many rare species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants. Scientists have identified this region as one of the world
Great trail! I suggest going earlier in the day if you're like me and don't like a busy trail. It's primarily bikers in the early morning. I followed the trail map and then kept going all the way to the top. It was just under 5 miles. There's a lot of shade in the beginning of the trail but towards the top you're completely exposed to the sun. Wear sunblock!
Free, abundant parking at the end of a paved road. Trail starts out on a long, level, dirt road that passes through a ranch before reaching a patch of trees that starts the more rugged part of the trail. You descend into a dry river bottom with lots of rocks and tight vegetation. Some areas require ducking under limbs or hopping over large boulders. Towards the end of the trail, as you approach the falls, it becomes a rock scramble and strong arms and legs are needed to climb. Beautiful, fun hike in nature. Only distraction is the trash people leave behind and the abundance of graffiti (it's on almost every stretch of the river trail) and that's a shame!
I think this hike is great if you don't mind climbing boulders to get to the fall. We did hiked up the mountain but there wasn't much to see. Pretty much dry with no shading. But I would definitely do the waterfall again. Because of the drought there actually wasn't a "waterfall" but had a pretty cool cave.
A nice trail in general. Wide road-width dirt path to follow. A good steady incline with some good wilderness vistas. Saturday morning at 7.30am you'll see lots of mountain bikers and runners.... I rated it a 3 star because the path was a little too boring for me and there was a little too much traffic on that day.
Nice morning hike. The falls are 4 miles in but with the drought it's pretty dry. Hope to go back once some rain hits the area. Lots of mountain bikers but every one was respectful and practiced common courtesy. Very clean trail from waste which is great. Also has good amounts of shade once you head into the canyon.