Santa Ynez Canyon Waterfall Trail

EASY 191 reviews
#5 of 40 trails in

Santa Ynez Canyon Waterfall Trail is a 2.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

2.2 miles
275 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running







wild flowers



over grown


no dogs

Santa Ynez Falls Trail is a 2.6 mile out and back trail located near Topanga, California that features a waterfall. It is an easy family-friendly trail and primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible throughout the year.

25 days ago

I'll do this trail again when there's actual water in the creek/waterfall.

3 months ago

loved this hike! Don't stop at the waterfall, crawl up on the side and go explore :) it is a pretty short hike but fun for people who don't like to hike straight on a nice path as it is full of stones to climb on.

4 months ago

Nice time out doors, lots of greenery. Don’t expect a waterfall, there was only murky dirty water. I would assume it’d be beautiful after it rains. Had lots of fun stepping over stones and climbing a few.

4 months ago

Kind of a boring hike until the ravine at the end, and some trickling water if you're lucky! Might be a better hike after some heavy rains.
I'd recommend just staying on the path to Eagle rock though, and not detouring to this waterfall.

4 months ago

This is really a local hike. I wouldn't drive out of the way to see it. There hasn't been very much water in many years. When there was, there was a running creek, and it was much harder to get there. The trail has zero bathroom/water facilities and I often find hikers allover the area (sometimes miles away) who either can't find their way to the nonexistent waterfall or can't find their way back from it! There's also a lot of poison oak, so good to have pants and sleeves if you go anyway. Rangers have been known to write tickets to people with dogs.

5 months ago

There was very very little water. However, my four kids (ages 9-13) had a great time climbing over rocks and boulders to get to the trickle of a waterfall. My 40+ chubby self even made it! I imagine that with significant rainfall....this hike could be pretty tough to navigate boulder climbing while it the stream.

8 months ago

The trail was very soft on the footing and very shady causing the temperature drop. Not much water at the top of the waterfall but it’s a nice walk and ending at a water hole with water dripping.

11 months ago

Really disappointing - may have once been a worthwhile hike, but trail hasn't been maintained and is in terrible shape - and now-dry riverbed is filled with what appears to be toilet paper/sewage. There are tons of great hikes in the area - this is not one of them.

Friday, June 02, 2017

there was no waterfall, completely drained out. Needed to climb on rocks to get to it. lots of mold and spider webs on the floor.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

a nice easy trail I was able to take my wife on (who doesn't hike). we made it to the waterfall and back aways in the other direction. the waterfall was trickling but still looked nice, poison oak everywhere and what sounded like a rattlesnake or two. wasn't crowded at all and mostly in shade which was nice.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Very narrow trails. Rough terrain and poison oak everywhere. Wouldn't recommend to go with kids.
Made it to the end of trail but not to the waterfall. The trail was very narrow and required climbing so we decided to turn around. I would not say it is an easy trail.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

ticks, over grown, we didn't take this trail. so bad for the spring

Monday, April 17, 2017

If you're adventurous climb up the ropes up a few of the waterfalls then do some freehand rock climbing up to the right side of the mountain to the top. It's a real treat. Watch out for poison oak though!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Fun and easy trail! Small water fall at end with a rope to climb over it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Very pretty, lots of wildlife, and poison oak.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

As of March 2016, we have water again! The many stream crossings mean you should wear waterproof shoes or be prepared for wet feet. Some of the areas are also a bit washed out and overgrown, making the hike a bit more adventurous than the leisurely stroll it is when the stream is smaller.

There's some scrambling over rocks which can be perfect for kids if you're ready for it.

Watch out for the poison oak, it's everywhere.

Also, I understand why you want to bring your dog on this trail, but please do not.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

good trail beautiful views

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Started at topenga state park, the hike from there goes down into the canyon. Beautiful views from the top, nice and shady at the bottle with big trees and shade. The "waterfall" was more like a dripping faucet even with all the rain recently. Passed a handful of other hikers, not crowded for a beautiful Sunday. Light rock scrambling to get to the "waterfall".

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Easy, beautiful stroll through the Santa Ynez Canyon. As you get closer to the trickling waterfall, you'll be faced with many rocks, from pebbles to small boulders. Some may find these tricky to maneuver but I found them fun and one of the best parts! The waterfall is small but usually very quiet. It feels like a secluded, hidden gem once you get back there. Definitely a place to go to when you need a break from all the craziness in the world. I love this spot :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It's fine. As others have noted, waterfall is dried up. Reminds me on an east coast hike - ticks, bees, frogs, you name it, they are lurking in the bush - we even saw some deer! Quiet trail, you'll pass people but not a ton. This would be a good group hike. I also wouldn't go too late in the day as I imagine it gets dark quickly.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Lovely walk, waterfall is dry.

Friday, July 01, 2016

We brought Koda.. Didn't get very far.. Waterfall was dried up.. Pretty overgrown.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Didn't get through the trail, as it was overgrown and we were scared of getting ticks on ourselves. Maybe when it's a different season, it would be worth trying again.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

worst hike ever, ticks and bugs and very very overgrown

Monday, February 29, 2016

I've never done this trail from the trailhead listed on this map. Usually go to Topanga State Park and do it from there. ~2.2 miles out and another ~2.2 miles back so it's a total of 4.4 miles. This is one of my favorite trails. If you go to Topanga State Park, park outside on the street and it's free or pay in the lot.

I've done this hike 10+ times with the most recent as of last week and the waterfall has never been dry.

There are snakes so be careful ... also some frogs!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our News year day ritual. Spotted many deer on this trail. Watch for poison oak!! Great views from the top of the valley near the end.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Very fun .. I will do it again.. And there is wildlife..

Sunday, October 25, 2015

the formation of the rock,is amassing.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I did everything wrong on this trail! I was not terribly experienced at hiking, it was mid-summer and over 100 degrees, and I started the trail at noon. I ended up with mild heat exhaustion! But all of that was my bad -- it was still very beautiful, especially in the creekbed. Unsurprisingly the creek and waterfall were completely dry.

Monday, August 03, 2015

This trail is good around Springs time!

Load More