Upper Hot Spring Canyon to Falls Trail

MODERATE 49 reviews
#8 of 121 trails in

Upper Hot Spring Canyon to Falls Trail is a 3.2 mile out and back trail located near Trabuco Canyon, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.2 miles
419 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips





wild flowers


over grown

5 months ago

It’s definitely not easy and you have to navigate to find your way on an overgrown trail. It’s not tick season (spring-summer) but the dogs ended up covered in them. Making for a much less than pleasant drive home (finished the hike as the sun was setting). We’ll have to plan our timing differently to go back. First tick encounter and there were just so many!!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Beware of the poison oak! It's worse than poison ivy and is a nightmare to deal with. Tons of it on this trail sadly.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Made it about a quarter mile in before we had to turn around. This trail is overgrown with poison oak! Another group started right before us and told us it only got worse (as they were turning back as well). I would not recommend this trail, at least at this time of the year. Not cared for or marked either.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

great drive, great hike and beautiful water falls

Monday, May 01, 2017

This Trail is probably great but going off the map on here the trail gets lost in the brush pretty quick. Poison oak is pretty prominent along with rattlesnakes. Ended up giving up and turning around when the brush became too high to see my footing (or the critters living under it). The drive is nice with lots of lookout points though.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not as easy as expected. The trail is not marked and very overgrown. But really pretty trail. Like an another reviewer mentioned, you need long sleeves and pants for this trail.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Great trail with an awesome waterfall at the end. Brush and plants are pretty overgrown on the trail.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's incredible at the end but getting there is the hard part there's ways to get lost and get hurt as well hard to spot snakes I ran into two rattle snakes and I was 5 feet away I didn't notice because I was focusing on not to fall do not go with tank tops or shorts go with pants as well long sleeve shirts and bring mosquito repellent.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When the trail opens up with a canyon on your right, go straight over the rocks and to the right of the creek! We made a right and followed the wrong creek. Didn't see the waterfall. We backtracked to where the trail spit us out. Once we were on the right trail it was smooth sailing! The first waterfall is great and you can take a dip in the pools:)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

this hike was pretty cool. we only went as far as the first major waterfall, about 2 miles in. the trail is overgrown but you can see where it is. at this time you will have to cross streams a few times. wear long pants. its beautiful. go while there is water.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

We were really looking forward to this hike but the over growth and ticks pretty much ruined the hike.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Definitely difficult to find the path at the beginning, but once you made it the trail was incredible!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fun trail overall. Of course if the waterfall was there it would have been more exciting but that's ok. We had 12 people on the trail this morning ages 4-50 and everyone did great. There's a few places there's loose gravel dirt and rocks and a couple places the trail gets narrow but it's nothing unmanageable. Lots of rocks so wear good shoes. Also several parts that are overgrown so I highly recommend long pants. Nothing too major though, we made it all the way. Took 3 hours total there and back including stops and kiddos going slow at times. There were a few snake sightings from another group and we saw a couple up on the road. The reviews below had great explanations for how to get there since it's not labeled well. Thank you for that!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Trail wax overgrown a bit and hard to follow at times. Had 3 small Kids with us and they made it but was difficult for them at times. Loved all the trees to duck under.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Trail is pretty overgrown and tough to follow but overall a pretty nice hike. The pools and waterfall are all low this time of year so it might be better after a recent rain. Not too difficult but should not be taken on by inexperienced hikers or kids.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

We tried to look for it but got lost! Help!!! Can anyone give me directions?

Monday, February 08, 2016

Some thick brush to push through and an occasional need to back track, but so worth it at the end. The recent rains helped fill the stream and the falls. Check for ticks. I didn't find mine until the next morning and by then it was too late.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fun trail. Lots of scrambling and ducking under things. Waterfalls are gorgeous too.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Very cool. Its turning into a tight tunnel, which I like, but with all the poison oak it makes you quite weary. A few trees have fallen over the old trail but its easy to get around. Bring something to cut the brush away, pruning shears work great. I found a tick on me so keep an eye out. It seems like there are 2 ways to start: The one on the map, North of Falcon or the way Nick Wil explains below (from the camp parking lot) Stay close to the bottom of the creek and you'll be fine.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Great hike. Made it to Upper falls but had no rope to go down to the Lower falls. It's really steep. Not that many people come out here. There was lots of flowing water too.

Monday, March 09, 2015

we did the first part of this hike last weekend without knowing. was pretty easy and had I known it ended in waterfalls we would have finished it. lol I'll definately bike the full thing next time. it was looking life a pretty neat hike.

also wood bring more water.

Monday, March 09, 2015

we did the first part of this hike last weekend without knowing. was pretty easy and had I known it ended in waterfalls we would have finished it. lol I'll definately bike the full thing next time. it was looking life a pretty neat hike.

Monday, September 29, 2014

First time there and YEAH trailheads hard to find. Park at the falcon group entrance gates and see the falcon trail sign to the left of gates? Follow down and pass mini wood bridge and 50 ft after youll come to Y in the trail, go right where stone arrow on ground is pointing. Pretty much follow streambed all way to the 1st big fall, youll know when you have to do some cliffhanger side mtn walking cautious stuff youre there. Trail is never more than five feet away from streambed so dont worry about getting lost.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

I did this hike in early January and it was fun, but definitely hard to find the trailhead just going off of google maps. The trailhead is off of the back of the campgrounds . After heading down to the creek bed from the campgrounds, going left on the trail takes you to the waterfall. Throughout our journey, there were quite a few places where the trail veered off and sometimes we went the wrong way for a couple feet before we realized we weren't on the right trail. The trail was overgrown in a lot of places and if I go again I will definitely wear long pants, but I didn't see any poison ivy or oak. The waterfall was dry, but I can't wait to go back in the spring! Including the 45 minutes it took for us the find the trailhead, the whole trip took 2 1/2 hours.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Can anyone tell me how to get there?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

This is a nice, very lightly traveled, down and back trail. The trail is less than three miles (if you turn around at the falls). We had a hard time finding the trailhead, but eventually found an entrance heading south down the hill of the Falcon group campsite road (no markings). It was located before the picnic table ring of the second group.

The trail was narrow and overgrown in some places. There were also a few spots with some small drop offs (10ft), so I would be very careful with any young hikers.

There were great canyon views away from the noise of the campgrounds. The falls dry up in late spring unless there has been decent rainfall.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gave it a try on Sunday. But weren't really prepared. The trail was pretty overgrown and we were not dressed for it. So we never made it. Going to give it another go soon. But rangers reported poison oak on the trail and also hear that the falls were dry. Does anyone now if the falls have water all year around?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Great hike, a bunch of falls. It took us 3 1/3 hours to finish. Cool falls we went swimming at the falls with the deep pool.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Hot Springs Canyon Falls is a great swimming spot down at the upper falls. The trail is pretty overgrown down at the creek. Cool Spot

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