4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Hike to Paradise Falls at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks.

Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks is Ventura County's most scenic suburban park. The scenery here has been imprinted in the minds of many in the over-50 age group: the area was once an outdoor set for old Hollywood movies, as well as for television's Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Wagon Train.

The short but steep hike -- down and then up -- described here takes you to Wildwood Park's scenic gem: the Arroyo Conejo gorge and Paradise Falls. To reach the starting point, exit Highway 101 at Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks and follow Lynn Road north 2.5 miles to Avenida de los Arboles. Turn left and follow Avenida de los Arboles one mile west. Make a U-turn there, and park on the right at Wildwood Park's principal trailhead.

Now, find and follow the narrow, scenic Moonridge Trail, descending sharply from the east (left) side of the parking area. Right away you come to a T-intersection amid oak woods. Turn right, remaining on the Moonridge Trail. The trail descends a sunny slope covered with aromatic sage-scrub vegetation and dappled with succulent live-forever plants that sprout white, comical-looking flower stalks. There's a brief passage across a shady ravine using wooden steps and a plank bridge. At 0.5 mile, you cross over a dirt road and continue on the narrow Moonridge Trail.

Ahead, the trail curls around a deep ravine without gaining or losing a lot of elevation, edging into the crumbly sedimentary rock. This passage is exciting enough for hikers and worrisome for parents with kids. At 0.9 mile you join another dirt road and use it to descend toward a large wooden teepee structure on a knoll just below. Make a right at the teepee, further descending into the Arroyo Conejo gorge. As you descend, watch for the narrow side trail on the left that will take you straight down to Paradise Falls -- a beautiful 30-foot-high cascade that makes its presence known by sound before sight. The high water table in the canyon bottom ensures a nearly year-round flow of water.

After you've admired the falls, continue by climbing back up the slope in the direction you came and by taking the fenced, cliff-hanging trail around the left (east) side of the falls. Beyond that fenced stretch, the narrow trail descends a little and sidles up alongside the creek, where large coast live oaks spread their shade. Soon, you'll find yourself continuing on a path of dirt-road width. Stay with that path until you reach a major crossroads. The small Wildwood Nature Center is just around the bend to the right.

Back at the crossroads, take the Indian Creek Trail north and pay your debt to gravity by ascending nearly 300 feet in about 0.7 mile. The beautifully tangled array of live oak and sycamore limbs along this trail keeps your mind off the climb. At one point, you can look down into a deep ravine where an inaccessible mini-waterfall and pool lie practically hidden. When you finally reach Avenida de los Arboles, turn left and return a short distance to the trailhead parking lot.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Driving a Pinto like it’s a Porsche

The pinnacle of automotive coolness
Next Article

California Democratic Party reaps Sempra cash windfall

Utility spreads political money while fighting to keep San Diego power monopoly

Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks is Ventura County's most scenic suburban park. The scenery here has been imprinted in the minds of many in the over-50 age group: the area was once an outdoor set for old Hollywood movies, as well as for television's Rifleman, Gunsmoke, and Wagon Train.

The short but steep hike -- down and then up -- described here takes you to Wildwood Park's scenic gem: the Arroyo Conejo gorge and Paradise Falls. To reach the starting point, exit Highway 101 at Lynn Road in Thousand Oaks and follow Lynn Road north 2.5 miles to Avenida de los Arboles. Turn left and follow Avenida de los Arboles one mile west. Make a U-turn there, and park on the right at Wildwood Park's principal trailhead.

Now, find and follow the narrow, scenic Moonridge Trail, descending sharply from the east (left) side of the parking area. Right away you come to a T-intersection amid oak woods. Turn right, remaining on the Moonridge Trail. The trail descends a sunny slope covered with aromatic sage-scrub vegetation and dappled with succulent live-forever plants that sprout white, comical-looking flower stalks. There's a brief passage across a shady ravine using wooden steps and a plank bridge. At 0.5 mile, you cross over a dirt road and continue on the narrow Moonridge Trail.

Ahead, the trail curls around a deep ravine without gaining or losing a lot of elevation, edging into the crumbly sedimentary rock. This passage is exciting enough for hikers and worrisome for parents with kids. At 0.9 mile you join another dirt road and use it to descend toward a large wooden teepee structure on a knoll just below. Make a right at the teepee, further descending into the Arroyo Conejo gorge. As you descend, watch for the narrow side trail on the left that will take you straight down to Paradise Falls -- a beautiful 30-foot-high cascade that makes its presence known by sound before sight. The high water table in the canyon bottom ensures a nearly year-round flow of water.

After you've admired the falls, continue by climbing back up the slope in the direction you came and by taking the fenced, cliff-hanging trail around the left (east) side of the falls. Beyond that fenced stretch, the narrow trail descends a little and sidles up alongside the creek, where large coast live oaks spread their shade. Soon, you'll find yourself continuing on a path of dirt-road width. Stay with that path until you reach a major crossroads. The small Wildwood Nature Center is just around the bend to the right.

Back at the crossroads, take the Indian Creek Trail north and pay your debt to gravity by ascending nearly 300 feet in about 0.7 mile. The beautifully tangled array of live oak and sycamore limbs along this trail keeps your mind off the climb. At one point, you can look down into a deep ravine where an inaccessible mini-waterfall and pool lie practically hidden. When you finally reach Avenida de los Arboles, turn left and return a short distance to the trailhead parking lot.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Driving a Pinto like it’s a Porsche

The pinnacle of automotive coolness
Next Article

Strings dominate at Oct. 20 Mainly Mozart

Prokofiev, Mozart, Beethoven at Del Mar Fairgrounds
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close