Hike Santa Ynez Falls

1-minute read

An 18-foot waterfall in Pacific Palisades. Santa Inez Falls trail offers easy rock climbing, stream crossing, and a shaded creek in Topanga State Park.


– Distance: 3.0 miles out and back.

– Difficulty: Easy

– Time: 1:10 hours

– Elevation gain: 206 feet

The trail starts next to private gated communities. Pass through the Topanga State Park gate, and engage on the paved dirty path.

After a few feet, you’ll reach the creek and start hiking.

The shaded path is easy and agreeable. It’s a quiet and relaxing environment with a few hikers (it’s not the most popular hike in Los Angeles). In 1.5 miles, you reach the waterfall. 

The trail follows the watercourse and includes numerous streams crossing. Plan accordingly if you’re hiking after rainy days.

There are a few signs along the trail, but it’s not always easy to find the path due to recent years’ flooding and the multiple creek crossings. Nevertheless, follow up the stream to reach the waterfall.

As you approach the waterfall, the terrain is rockier. Continue up the small gorge. At this stage, there is a lot of (easy) rock climbing.

The gorge

Walk up through the stream until the falls.

Santa Ynez is an 18-foot waterfall. There was a slow stream when I visited it.

Santa Ynez Falls

There is a rope next to the fall if you want to climb.

For the final legs of the hike, backtrack to the trail.

Article based on my hike in January 2022 and February 2023.

Ready to hike Santa Inez Falls?

Address:  Santa Ynez Waterfall Trail, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


– I recommend hiking early morning to avoid heat

– Park open from 10 AM to 6 PM

– Parking: unmetered street parking

– Grab water, hiking shoes, and suncream

– More information at https://trails.lacounty.gov/Trail/267/santa-ynez-waterfall-trail

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