Temescal Canyon Falls

Pacific Palisades, CA
Length: 2.75 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 5    Average: 1.8/5]

There are multiple trail heads for Temescal Canyon falls, with the most popular starting at Temescal Gateway Park (parking fee). If you have walking children, that might be a better trail head to use. The Leacock trailhead offers free parking and is less crowded, but does have more elevation gain in a shorter distance. It connects to the trail to Skull Rock if you wish to extend your hike by another 1.5 miles.

This trail guide begins at the Leacock Trailhead for Topanga State Park. Beginning in the neighborhood, you take a small corridor between houses to a set of stairs. This begins your uphill climb to Temescal Ridge. At the first trail intersection, turn left, where you will enter a green brushy area. This was my favorite section of the hike, as I felt like I was in real wilderness rather than suburbia. At the top of the ridge, follow the trail to the left and down to the intersection with the falls trail. Turn right, and follow it down, down, down to the bridge crossing the creek bed. When standing on the bridge looking uphill, you should see the waterfall (or where the waterfall is when there is water). My daughter and I entered the creek bed to play in the fallen leaves (fall color typically happens in winter in Southern CA, except for the mountains). To return, we labored uphill to the ridgeline, then downhill to the trailhead.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 745 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, and Waterfall

Views of Catalina Island, Temescal Ridge Viewpoint, views of Topanga State Park, Temescal Canyon falls (seasonal).

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Free street parking on Bienveneda Ave

Trail Contributor

[Total: 5    Average: 1.8/5]

My name is Nicole Dominick, and I’ve been hiking with Hike it Baby since May 2016 with my daughter. She is now 4.5 years old and has hiked over 400 miles! She has been carried for most of those miles, but we enjoy every journey. We were both born and raised in Southern CA but now live in Colorado Springs, CO.


Trail Head


Trail Map

Getting There

From Santa Monica, head northbound on Pacific Coast Hwy. Turn right onto Temescal Canyon Rd, left on Sunset, and right on Bienveneda Ave. Take Bienveneda Ave until near the gates for the private community and park along the street.