5 Best Hiking Trails With Waterfalls Near Anaheim (2022)
What comes to your mind when you think about Anaheim? Surely about the Disneyland craze, up-class suburban settlement, amusement parks with lights and life. However, this is not what this entertainment paradise of Orange county offers but a lot more diversity and endless ways of travelling and entertainment. Anaheim might not shine in the light for hiking enthusiasts, but if you have observed the city from close, then you might know how many trails are hidden around this suburban location.
The city of Anaheim, though, is not a hub for hiking enthusiasts and waterfall seekers, but there are still a few that you can consider covering nearby from the city for an ultimate time and experience. Anaheim and its neighborhood is home to some of the best waterfalls and hiking trails of Southern California but it is still a secret for many; however, we have found out all that is hidden and unexplored so that you can get the most fun out of them. For your next trip to this Disney city, consider visiting these “5 Best Hiking Trails with waterfalls in Anaheim”. Have a look, before you decide:
5 Best Hiking Trails With Waterfalls Near Anaheim
1. Black Star Canyon Trail
Black Star Canyon is one beautiful waterfall and a hidden gem near Anaheim, which might surprise you for all good reasons. It is one of the most elusive waterfalls in South California, with about a 7 miles round trail. The trail is moderately strenuous and undefined, which makes it a little difficult for a novice but fun and adventure for regular hikers who are seekers for rough and challenging trails. The hiking trail begins at the gate, which can be found driving straight to the end of Black Star Canyon Road. The hike further begins with a straight road, leading towards a dirty mudded road where you will find a few private residences with electric fences and padlocks. The hiking trail further leads towards a few bridges, several small streams, huge rocks, and an uneven, challenging path. The pathway is not very decent, and during rains, it would get extremely Swampy; thus, make sure you are prepared with comfortable footwear and choiceful steps. Finally, reaching up to the imposing fall will make all the hiking worthwhile. It has a decent flow and serene environment for spending an hour or more. Black Star Canyon, though, is a year-round fall but can be found at its best during or after monsoons; thus, it is the best time you can plan your day here.
2. Falls Canyon Trail
The Falls Canyon trail is not more than a maximum of 1.5 miles round trip but with a slight bit of mysteries as it is still an unofficial trail with no sign for directions and pathways. The trail goes through a rainforest leading your way to a 40-foot waterfall, finally to a beautiful end. Falls Canyon Trail is also nicknamed as Hidden fall trail, as finding the way anywhere around is quite tricky and difficult. To begin with, drive until the dead-end of the Trabuco Canyon Road, take a left towards the mountains until you see an undamaged dirty parking lot on your right. The road here is very muddy and bumpy, but if you are here during raining season, you might find a lot of companions to head along with. The hiking trail begins down towards Trabuco Creek just before the parking area, only a few minutes after the “Holy Jim Falls in 2 miles” sign. Further, move forwards, crossing the huge wooden log placed over the stream, which will lead you into the canyon, and you would see a cave on one side; further, continue walking on the small path, and it will lead you to the waterfall in some time. If you will to see the fall in its full glow, then consider being hereafter monsoon or wet winters. However, it will also degrade the path more, making it muddy and slippery to walk. The waterfall is quite tall and a good place to have lunch or quick snacks with your hiking buddies.
3. Dana Point Seasonal Waterfall Trail
A waterfall hike quite near to the city of Anaheim, the Dana Point Seasonal Waterfall Trail is undoubtedly one of the magnificent trails in Orange county. The Dana Point Harbour fall is one of the most spectacular and beautiful seasonal falls in Southern California, which further contributes to the popularity of the nearby driving trail as well. It is a roadside waterfall that is in its full glow, mainly during the rainy season and is quite easy to reach with convenient GPS access. To begin with, start driving towards the Dana Point Harbour, and once you cross the Island Way St., you would see the pleasing waterfall view on your right. The waterfall is human-made and thus quite modern, fronted by palm trees and surrounded by small cliffs with a small grassland to overlook at fall. Driving up to the fall can be highly tricky as during rains, the roads here become excessively slippery, and only seasoned drivers can get through it without any danger. Also, unlike other waterfalls, you cannot enjoy under the flow or at the pond but only view it from a safer distance. The view around and on your way to the Dana Point Harbour in itself is quite spectacular to fill you with goosebumps.
4. Holy Jim Falls Trail
A well-known and easy waterfall hike near Anaheim in Orange county leads to towards a small waterfall and abundance of tranquil natural beauty. It is not more than a 3 to 4 miles round trip for spending and exhausting a good 2 to 4 hours. To begin with, drive from Rancho Santa Margarita towards the east on the city’s parkway and then on the left to the dead-end of Plano Trabuco Road. Further, get on the left towards the Trabuco Canyon Road, and when you get to the bottom of the hill, get towards your right on the dirt road until you find some cabins where you can park your vehicle. The trail starts right near the parking lot, and you will soon find the Holy Jim Trailhead. The walking trail, though, is neither very difficult nor will it let you forget your way as there are quite a lot of marking on the path and usually some fellow hikers as well. The trail is also used by mountain bikes at times, but only the highly seasoned ones must try it, and if you are walking here, be cautious that you are out of their way. Though hiking on the Holy Jim Falls Trail is relatively easy, but the drive before that is quite tough, and only SUV’s or vehicles with more ground clearance can make their way successfully till the end. Do not try driving on this path if you are a beginner or with small cars.
5. Harding Falls Trail
Another nearby waterfall from Anaheim is the Harding Falls Trail that leads you to the best of nature all your way along. It is one of the heavily trafficked trails in Orange County, covering an out and back distance of about 7 miles offering some spectacular scenic view and solitude. The trail is medium-difficult, with the first few miles for a decent walk followed with a few rough pathways further. The Harding Falls trail is commonly used for hiking and running; thus, even beginners would find it comfortable to lead their way here. The fall, though, is hidden in the depth of Harding Canyon, with a lot of nature, greenery, and shaded paths on the way. The hike towards the fall begins at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, right at the Harding Truck Trail, from where you need to walk up to the hills and then finally getting down into the canyon. The pathway is well marked, and you can easily find your route with only some off-roads during the last mile. You will find a mini waterfall near a narrow section of the canyon, but it isn’t the actual one that you are seeking for. The Harding falls a seasonal waterfall, and thus you will find it lush only during monsoons and after winters at time. Though while on your way up on the trail, be cautious of poisons oaks and reptiles.