6 Best hikes in orange county with waterfalls

Here is the list of hikes in orange county with waterfalls. What are some of the first things that spring to mind when you think about Orange County? You most likely imagine vast beaches populated with people playing volleyball and sunning on the sand, as well as a plethora of wonderful restaurants and shopping opportunities.

Even though our coastal paradise offers all of those things, it may come as a surprise to learn that Orange County is home to a number of trails that lead to waterfalls. These terrific excursions are wonderful ways to get out of the house and see parts of the renowned county that are visited by fewer tourists. Now is the time to put on your rucksack and lace up your hiking boots because you are about to go on an adventure!

Do you want to find out more about the attractions that can be found along the coast of Southern California? Get a free copy of our Newport Beach Vacation Guide when you are ready to start planning your vacation and use it as a resource. This planning tool offers advice from area residents on the most enjoyable activities and accommodations available in our region.

Hikes in orange county with waterfalls

  • Chiquito Falls
  • Falls Canyon 
  • Dana Point Seasonal Waterfall
  • Ortega Falls
  • Black Star Canyon
  • Tenaja Falls

Chiquito Falls

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The trailhead for Chiquito Falls may be found on the way to Ortega Falls, down the road. In addition to its moderate difficulty, this nine-mile loop path is a popular choice for those looking for an out-and-back. If it has recently rained, the scenery and rock climbing near the falls are spectacular.

READ: things do to in orange country

Falls Canyon 

Havasupai, AZ

To really disconnect, Falls Canyon is the place to go on your vacation. Despite its short length, the Trabuco Canyon Trail is jam-packed with breathtaking scenery. In Orange County, this climb is one of the best waterfall hikes because of the impressive height of the trail’s last waterfall.

A word of caution: The road leading to the little parking lot is riddled with potholes and there are few signs pointing the way. Wildfires, on the other hand, may lead to occasional road closures.

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Dana Point Seasonal Waterfall

Although the Dana Point Seasonal Waterfall may not provide the same tranquil and natural backdrop as some of the other locations on our list, it more than makes up for it in terms of its wow effect. This secluded location, which can be found just across the road from the Dana Point Harbor, is home to a powerful waterfall that appears when it has rained heavily and cascades down a steep rock face. Even if the waterfall is dry during your excursion, the trails that go up to the cliff’s edge give breathtaking vistas of the surrounding area.

Ortega Falls

Ortega Falls

If you are looking to get away from the throng around Newport Beach, you should go to Ortega Falls. The trek to a waterfall that is only on the outskirts of Orange County is not difficult at all. The distance from the parking lot is less than a half mile, so the excursion will be enjoyable for each and every member of your party. The trip from Newport Beach to the waterfall and the stones in its vicinity takes over an hour, but it is well worth it to see the breathtaking cascade.

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Black Star Canyon


One of the most scenic and enjoyable waterfall walks in Orange County can be found in Black Star Canyon. This hike in Southern California, which has a round-trip distance of 7.5 miles, is a hidden treasure. From Newport Beach, the Black Star Canyon Trailhead may be reached through Santiago Canyon Road, which is about a 40- to 45-minute drive. You will be able to view a great deal of breathtaking landscape from that vantage point. If there has been raining in the days leading up to your trek, the waterfall that you reach at the end will be even more impressive.

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Tenaja Falls

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The views from atop Tenaja Falls are among the most breathtaking of any waterfall in Orange County. The journey, which is a round trip, is just one and a half miles long and is suitable for hikers of all levels. Those who are interested in seeing the natural side of Southern California will find that this is a fantastic choice for a day excursion.