Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Nice hike, but can get very crowded. I have done this hike twice, both on weekdays mornings with a 7:30 start time. No line at the rock either time. By the time we started back down there were quite a few people on the trail. It's basically uphill all the way to the top but worth it for that cool photo. It's definitely not a casual stroll, so be prepared for a workout.

Good work out on a consistent uphill slope all the way to the top. Coming down is tough on knees and toes. But , it is all worth it! Good view and yes, the special Potato Chip rock!

1.5 Miles up then 1.5 back down. Definitely grab a map at the trail head before adventuring. You can modify by making hike longer by including the willow trail. Some shade provided. Bring plenty of water. Great views. Watch out for bikers.

No water at the waterfall but still a good hike! Very rocky, not meant to climb alone. Bring water! There’s no service on the trail.

I didn't do quite this exact trails, but very similar. We started at the Los Trancos parking lot ($15), crossed PCH and took the paved path down to the side of the golf course. This part of the hike up on the cliff has some pretty views and lots of bathrooms along the way. There are plenty of spots to head down to the beach, but if you keep walking until you get to the golf course before you head down, you can see the cool Monterey Formation geological features and explore your first batch of tidepools! From there, we walked along the beach, peering into tidepools and crossing over some rocks along the way. Make sure you go at low tide to be able to cross all of this, or you may have to head back up to the cliffside and take a different beach access point down. We head down the beach until we just passed the Historic District and Beachcombers, stopped to look at the tidepools there, but honestly, got annoyed with the OC crowd (everyone was complaining really loudly about absolutely everything!), so we headed up the stairs in the Historic District, walked back along the cliffs back to Los Trancos.

A nice little beach walk, not strenuous at all. Got sweaty at the end as the morning started to heat up, but overall a very easy hike! (No dogs allowed! We saw one lady with her dog up top, but there are signs at all the beach access points that say no dogs.)

Even though the falls don't flow as much, it's still a great hike.

If your going just to see the waterfall be warned there is no water right now.

hiking
2 days ago

I like that it's short, so if you just want to go for a few hours and not all day it's perfect.
I've been here a few times cause it's close. My dog loves it and she loves to climb so I like that it's an easy enough climb for her for me not to worry of her falling.
During the hotter seasons there's no water.. It dries up, during the cooler seasons after a good rain there usually is water.. It gets up to at least 2 feet of water.. More or less.
You can climb up the waterfall... Or down. I see Rock climbers there more so during the summer, which is pretty cool to watch. Usually pretty friendly also.
Downside is the tacky graffiti... If it were murals of something it'd be a different story maybe even liked by most... But it's just a bunch of stupid kids tagging their names and stupid kid-like drawings... It seems to be getting worse. Honestly I could do without the graffiti completely. Unfortunately it might not happen. Honestly there not much room for really good pictures because of it. Thankfully there are still some good spots but it's only a matter of time.
Teach your children not to deface nature and maybe, there will still be places of beauty left in the future.

All in all, I still love going here for my dog and I, easy rocky trail, steep but super short. Sometimes water, sometimes dry. Fun little outing.

off road driving
2 days ago

A nice drive, with an emphasis on “drive”.

If you’re looking for a nice drive with okay scenery then look no further. On the contrary, if you’re hoping to off-road, there are offshoots (one of which is Holy Jim). Other than that, this is definitely an easy to moderate trail.

new county policy you must have a reservation to park booked in advance. also they charge for the reservations. they pay park rangers to stand out and collect the money.

For a continuous moderately paced hike, you can make it up to the summit in 1 hour. If you start right before 7 the mountain will shade you up until the last mile of the hike. Between 2- 1 1/2 mile point from the summit there seems to be an endless set of steps that are pretty challenging. Past the potato chip rock there is not much else and a radio station that ruins part of the view, but overall a decent hike.

I did this trail in the late morning into the afternoon with plans to stop at the Beachcomber for lunch halfway through. It definitely took longer than expected to get midway but well worth the wait. If you want to do the same bring a back pack with a bathing suit and cover up and a credit card, so you can enjoy the restaurant/bar and lay on the beach.
However I should have ate less at the restaurant because the steep hill shortcut back to where we parked the car was not ideal on a full stomach. We ran out of time and had to cut the rest of the hike short.
Overall, gorgeous views and a nice breeze. But definitely not “easy.” I would say easy/moderate.
I didn’t realize the lower part of the trail is on the actual sand. Walking on the sand isn’t easy in my opinion. But a nice change of pace from your run of the mill dirt road trail.
Also there are plenty of bathrooms which is nice.

A little sore on the ankles but well worth it!

Great hike, long but pretty easy. You have to cross lots of streams so be prepared to get a bit wet. Totally worth it. Remember to get your adventure pass.

This hike gave us the biggest challenge so far. Made it to the bridge and back in over 4 hours or maybe 5 lol... it was well worth it. Beautiful scenery to and from. Good a$$ kicking hike. Will have to do it again.

Great hike. First 2.5 miles is along a dirt road with little to no shade. Not overwhelmingly exciting. When you get to around 3 miles in, the fun starts. Its hiking through thickish bush and concluding with a bit of light climbing uphill. In August the waterfall is more of a rockface, but it's a cool little area to relax nonetheless. I'd definitely do this one again

This hike humbled me! Training for half dome so wanted to do a difficult hike And that I did. Haven’t been hiking much lately but do a lot of walking every day and this hike let me know just how out of shape I am and what I need to do to make my experience much much better. I will not do this hike again until I’m in better shape. Overall not a bad hike if they would just lose those steep inclines. Red Rock was cool and The views from Vista point are pretty amazing. Saw some wildlife, deer rabbits and all kinds of birds. This trail is doable even if you’re a little out of shape but you just might not enjoy it as much as if you were in better shape.

很不错的一条线路,一路树荫,这个季节山下39度,山里很凉快,就是没什么水,推荐!2-3小时走完

it was a fun hike but there were a lot of yellow jackets

hiking
10 days ago

BRING LOTS OF WATER!!

Did this trail over the weekend and first off, it is closer to 11 miles round trip, not 9. Each person should have at least 3 liters of water. This trail is an easy trail, very slight elevation increase the entire way. It is however a long trail, so if you're not used to hiking 10+ miles, be ready.

The trail is pretty great, pay attention and you can see old pieces of road throughout the hike, yes, they are covered in dirt but once you notice and realize there was once a road the entire way you start seeing it all over.

Start early, the path going out isn't bad because of the position of the sun, you'll get morning shade most of the way. Coming back though, it's direct sun almost the entire path.

Once you make it to the bridge you can cross the bridge and go to the bottom. We sat there and ate lunch with our feet in the stream, it's pretty awesome down there at the bottom.

The earlier you get here, the better the parking will be. The lot fills up early, we got here at 7:30 and had to park about 1/3rd of a mile down the road. Also, buy a parking pass in advance, they are $5 for a day pass or $30 for a year pass. It's good at 4 local parks and is a parking hangtag, so just get the annual pass. I got mine at Big 5 but they're sold all over.

There is about 5 water crossings each way. In the summer you can probably skip rocks to cross each time, if there has been any recent rain you will get wet crossing the stream.

Lastly, check the weather report, if there is a chance of rain I'd stay away from this path. You're hiking in a ravine and this path does regularly have flash floods. People die on this trail from being trapped in flash floods. I came across one cross where someone had died on the trail.

I would definitely do this hike again.

Awesome trail, friendly people along the way just enough incline to get a good workout

hiking
11 days ago

California has been going through a drought and this summer has been one of the hottest summers I’ve ever experienced. The waterfall has lost its heavy and pleasant flow.

Did on a hot day. Bring a lot of water! worth it for the fun potato chip rock pictures!

Nice but hot in summer.
Across the river 4-5 times, you could make it without wet..I did. Took 5 hours.

trail running
12 days ago

Beautiful view! I went yesterday with my husband to see the sunrise around )5:20am) and was worth it. Quit, peaceful and with a great great view. I also enjoyed staying down the beach after jogging in the trail, was so romantic.
Best time to go is before the sun come out to avoid the hit !
Highly recommended

Took me 6 and 10 yr olds, they had a blast. Once we got to the bridge we went swimming and had lunch down at the bottom watching people bungee jump. On the way back we saw some rams. If you go early morning, weather is not to bad.

This hike makes you work for it. One hour up & 30 minutes down. I started before the sun and there were plenty of other friendly folks on the trail.

This was a good trail, it was pretty easy but the hills gave me a good sweat. it was pretty hot today also in the 80s and there really isn't much shade anywhere although we did find a few spots. The terrain goes from dusty dirt to pavement, it wasn't too bad. Overall it was a good workout and there is a good view dorm the very top of the trail.

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