Paradise Falls Wildwood Park Thousand Oaks
With a name like Paradise Falls, this cascade in Thousand Oaks boasts a big game—and it delivers! The serene 40-foot waterfall tumbles down the Arroyo Conejo Creek at the bottom of a rocky canyon in Wildwood Park. Summer temps here can hit the triple digits, so the best time to make the 2-mile (round-trip) hike to Paradise Falls is in winter, when it's also at peak flow. Depart from the trailhead and hike along Mesa Trail. It's easy to wonder how this Tex-Mex landscape of sagebrush and prickly pear cactus can harbor a waterfall, but the answer comes soon enough when a view into the canyon reveals the creek, flanked by oaks and sycamores. Drop down to it and pass one of the park's many picnic areas. Paradise Falls careens frothily into a clear pool. Next to it, a dramatic outcropping with a massive gape looks like a gladiator helmet cast in stone (and makes a great photo). Take a seat on a boulder and watch ducks fly overhead to their upstream home. Paradise found.

Take US-101 to the Lynn Rd. exit in Thousand Oaks. Drive north for 2.5 miles to Avenido de los Arboles and turn left. Drive to the end of the street and park in the dirt lot on the left. Hike west from the trailhead on Mesa Trail. After 0.4-mile, turn left on North Tepee Trail following signs for Paradise Falls. Turn right at a T in the trail next to the tepee and descend into the canyon. Make the next left down a narrow trail to reach the falls. All trail junctions leading to Paradise Falls are well marked. Bring along this trail map to explore other trails in the park. Swimming and rock climbing around Paradise Falls is prohibited. Dog-friendly!