The Big List of Southern California Waterfalls

I have wrote extensively on my favorite hikes here, but this list is of the lesser known amazing waterfalls that are really all over Southern California. When I tell people this, they always tell me they had no idea, and that is what I am looking to fix. Even if you don’t like hiking, who doesn’t like walking to a beautiful waterfall on a nice Southern California spring day. Here are my favorite, but really there are a ton more in Southern California, I would check out the resources at the bottom for some more. All of the links under the pictures should show you how to get to each one of the falls (half of the links point to other sites, if you like hiking you should be following most of them already).

Escondido Falls

Escondido waterfall

Read about Escondido Falls here

Sturtevant Falls

Sturtevant Falls Instagram

Read about Sturtevant Falls here

Big Falls

Big falls forest falls

Read about Big Falls here

Heart Rock Falls

heart rock waterfall

Read about Heart Rock Falls here

Etiwanda Falls

Etiwanda Falls 14

Read about Etiwanda Falls here

Sapphire Falls

View of Sapphire Falls

Read about Sapphire Falls here

Bonita Falls

Bonita Falls

Read about Bonita Falls here

The Three Sisters

three sisters falls

Read about Three Sisters Falls here (also the image credit is from there)

Fish Canyon Falls

Fish Canyon Falls 18

Read more about Fish Canyon Falls here

San Antonio Falls

San Antonio Falls

Read about it here.

Tahquitz Canyon Falls

Tahquiz Falls

Read about Tahquitz Canyon Fall here.

Cedar Creek Falls

Read more about Cedar Creek Falls here (also image credit)

Falls Canyon Falls

Falls Canyon Falls

Shout out to WalkSimply for this one.

Holy Jim Falls

Holy Jim Falls

Read about Holy Jim Falls here.

Tenaja Falls

Tenaja Falls 14

Read about Tenaja Falls here.


Monrovia Canyon Falls

Monrovia canyon

Read more about Monrovia Canyon Falls here and here

Eaton Canyon Falls

Read more about Eaton Canyon Falls here (Also Image Credit)

Solstice Canyon Falls

solstice canyon falls

Read more about Solstice Canyon Falls here.

Hermit Falls

Read more about Hermit Falls here (Also Image Credit)

Switzer Falls

Read more about Switzer Falls here. (Also Image Credit)

Chiquito Falls

Read more about Chiquito Falls here. (Also Image Credit)

Resources for more waterfalls

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  • Waterfalls make a great destination when hiking with kids. Thanks for putting together this comprehensive list. Hoping to check out one (or more) with the kids this spring.

    • They make a great destination for big kids like myself as well haha. Glad you like the list! Let me know which one you end up check out

  • Thanks for the mention! I lived in San Diego for 6 years and never did Cedar Creek..when I went to go, it was closed because a kid died there jumping off the rocks. Maybe I’ll go next time I visit!

    • No problem, I want to get down the three sisters falls one of these days, it looks awesome!

  • Traci Lehman

    Wow! This is a really BIG list! 🙂 Thanks for the shout out!. I will take me years to hit all these.

  • Great list, but you left out Chiquito Falls!

    • Thanks for the update! I added it in

  • Bikram

    Thanks for nice post.

  • George Ranks

    There is another really great waterfall just past Bonita Falls called Third Stream Falls. No one ever seems to list it, but its one of my favorite in Southern California.

    • Thanks George that looks like an awesome one!

  • Matt

    Forgot about the best keep secret falls in OC. Blackstar Canyon Falls.

    • Ya, that is one of the best waterfalls, however it is hard to recommend as it hasn’t had good water flow for years with all the droughts!

  • Ashley Ann

    Aztec Falls Lake Arrowhead

    • Thanks for the comment, I will have to check it out!

  • Pamela Sue Fiore

    Hello Josh, I saw a picture on the Internet, I think while I was on Pinterest. There was a photo of beautiful, colored waterfalls in California. I am now trying to find those again, since I stumbled upon your posting here, I figured you might have the answer for me.(?) Thank you, Pam F. 9/23/15

    • Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I have no idea what the colored waterfall would be. If you can give me more information I may be able to help though.

      • Pamela Sue Fiore

        Josh, I’m so sorry for not thanking you for your response. I just now saw it. I’m going out to California and finding it myself. Happy New Year

        • Sweet, good luck!

          • Pamela Sue Fiore


  • Demetri Uzinski

    Hi, Reluctant to share, but after 30+ years the falls and wilderness I enjoy is in Hope Valley, CA.
    Near intersections of Highways 88 and 89, this secluded and seasonal waterfall from snow melt in the Hope Valley are very secluded and pristine. You actually follow a cow trail off a forest service road, less than 1mi a true hidden gem of the Eastern Sierras.

    • Thanks for the comment, I will have to check it out!