A Waterfall in my Backyard

Feb 11, 2009 by Lisa Newton

It’s true. Temescal Gateway Park is a Los Angeles hiker’s dream. I hiked there a few months ago, but due to all the rain we’ve recently had, I was very curious to see if the park’s waterfall had managed to regenerate itself. At first blush, being that the last time I was here, the waterfall consisted of a trickle. (Bummer Dude!)

As its entrance is right off of Sunset Blvd, the park is easily accessible to both drivers and Metro bus users.

After parking at the park entrance, just follow the entrance road to the Temescal Canyon Trail head and that’s where the majestic canyon opens and starts. All you need to do is just go–it’s easy to find.

As always safety first! Be sure to bring along some water and a friend. Yesterday’s sojourn wasn’t firmly planned, so I hadn’t really prepared, however it wasn’t too hot (In fact, I was wearing a sweatshirt, which soon became sweaty), so water wasn’t an issue, but my shoes, which were an older pair were a menace. Due to several inches of rainfall in the past few weeks, the trail was a bit slick on the downside, and I did slip, luckily resulting in only a pair of dirty kneed jeans. I think my ego was definitely more damaged.

Although its chiming is labeled as “moderate,” I think that the Temescal Canyon Trail is a “little strenuous,” as the climb’s incline is about 1,000 feet in the first mile.

Since getting to the waterfall was my goal, the trip up seemed at times to take a while, but in reality, it’s was only about 20-25 minutes.

It felt so good to be outside hiking again—since I haven’t had too much time recently, this trail definitely got me “back in the saddle again” so to speak.

Temescal has long been a canyon that inspired nature lovers and enlightenment-seekers. During the 1920s and 1930s, the canyon hosted Chautauqua assemblies—large educational and recreational gatherings that features lectures, concerts and stage performances. The canyon was purchased by the Presbyterian Synod in 1943 and used as a retreat center until 1995 when the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy purchased the property.

After about a mile of hiking, I came upon the waterfall. As I said earlier, it was only a few short months ago that because of the drought conditions in Southern California, what was once a true waterfall had been reduced to a trickle.

Although a bit more than a trickle now—but not totally ground water satiated, it still has a ways to go before all the water is replenished at the fall; but be that as it may I could hear the waterfall before I approached it, and that made the ascent well worth the effort.

The waterfall is about ⅔ up the canyon wall, so I still had a ways to go to hit the peak and start on the trail down. About ½ a mile after the waterfall, I reach the Canyon Trail peak.

From here, you are able to see Beverly Hills and much of the Westside.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the views of the city as I started down. The last time I hiked this trail, it was fairly early in the morning on a not too clear day.

Today was the complete opposite.

So to keep things interesting, and because I took so many pictures, I’m going to save the trip down for tomorrow’s blog. So make sure that part of your online destination tomorrow is here.

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15 Responses to “A Waterfall in my Backyard”

  1. Ralph says:

    Wow, those images are great. I especially like the image with the trail almost covered by trees and bushes

    Ralph’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  2. Suz says:

    Wow…Beautiful! Can’t say I’ve ever been to California, but you’re pics make me want to visit sometime.

    I live in the midwest and get the scenic corn & beanfields in the summer in my area …. :)

    Suz’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  3. LisaNewton says:

    @Ralph Thank you. This trail has several sections like that. I can imagine on a hot day, it’s a welcome bit of shade.

    @Suz I was born and raised in the Midwest, and my sister’s house is totally surrounded by corn and beanfields. The sky looks to dark and big there. It’s a great place to get away from the city every year or so………………:)


  4. Make Money Online Tips says:

    That is really beautiful. Makes me wonder which camera do you use. BTW i read your guest post on problogger so thought ill have a look here :)

    Make Money Online Tips’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  5. Sheila@DrCason.org says:

    I’m missing home. Love the trail pic.

    Sheila@DrCason.org’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  6. Happy Girl says:

    I read some where that Hamilton,Ontario is the city with highest number of waterfalls. Some of the pictures here remind me Hamilton.


  7. Lance says:

    Awesome pictures Lisa! I love the trail shot, it looks almost like a tunnel. And the skyline view is impressive – I bet even more so in real life! Looking forward to the trip back down…

    Lance’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  8. Henie says:

    Hi Lisa…

    I always enjoy visiting and enjoying your sojourn with you!:)

    Los Angeles, per se, still has many hidden pockets of nature. Thank you for reminding me!:)

    Henie’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  9. Jeffery Patch says:

    Thanks for the tip on this hike. I’m also in Southern California and am looking for good hikes to do around the area. I know there are plenty, it’s just a matter of finding them! I’m especially seeking ones that I can do overnight and camp out somewhere in the middle.

    Found your site via ProBlogger.net and I’ll be checking it out more frequently. – Thanks!

    Jeffery Patch’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  10. Giovanna Garcia says:

    Great photo:-) My favorite is the entrance road to the Temescal. It looks almost story book like.
    Thank you for this.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

    Giovanna Garcia’s last blog post..A Waterfall in my Backyard


  11. Matthew says:

    Those are some great pics! I have only been to California once, and we didn’t get to do any hiking, but now I’m going to have to return!
    Can’t wait to see the return trip!


  12. On top of the Mountain | Travelin' Local says:

    [...] A Waterfall in my Backyard [...]

  13. LisaNewton says:

    @Sheila I love visiting winter shots, as I sometimes miss the snow, but not all the shoveling…………..:)

    @Happy Girl Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

    @Lance I was just amazed, and you’re right, the camera just can’t capture the true view, but it comes close.

    @Henie You’re welcome. I’m always surprised to how much nature there is in LA considering the size of the city.

    @Jeffery I haven’t done any overnight trips, yet, but I’m looking forward to it, although I might not do them camping. So many day trips here, it’s hard to choose. I look forward to your future visits and more comments……………..:)

    @Giovanna Thanks. I plan on hiking this trail more often, due the feelings I get there.

    @Matthew California can always use more visitors, so come on down…….:)


  14. dc says:

    Wow, what a cool find! Those are always my favorites — things that are right in your backyard, but are still hidden away, and most people don’t know about them.

    Very nice site you have here. There are some neat stories to be told.

    dc’s last blog post..Checkmark


  15. LisaNewton says:

    @dc The more I investigate, the more I learn all the great places in my backyard. In fact, in a comment on another site, I discovered there are more waterfalls close by. I can hardly wait to take my camera.


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