Hiking Project Logo

Paradise Falls - Long Loop

Easy/Intermediate
  4.1 ( 13 ) Favorite

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer loop
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 573' 175 m
Descent: -583' -178 m
High: 859' 262 m
Low: 312' 95 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

A great hike with Paradise Falls as the centerpiece.

RickG Gutz

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly Many side trails allow for an easy bailout if you need it, but this is generally great for kids.

The creek feeding the falls contains urban stormwater and water discharged from a wastewater treatment facility. No swimming allowed.

Overview

Wildwood Park has many trails that can lead you to Paradise Falls. This collection of trails will lead you on a longer tour of the area. It takes you up to Lizard Rock for the views, then down Lizard Rock Trail to the water treatment plant, along the creek on Wildwood Canyon Trail and up to meet the falls. After the falls, enjoy Indian Cave Trail and Moonridge Trail as they take you back to the entrance.

Need to Know

All creek crossings have wood plank bridges or easy to crossing rocks. Hiking poles would be useful if you need help with balance.

Description

There are many trails in Wildwood Park, and most will lead you to Paradise Falls. I chose this collection to highlight because it is a nice way to include several aspects of the park into one simple hike - views, terrain, flora, falls and a Teepee!

Start your journey on the Mesa Trail from the main entrance. This long, mostly straight, trail is the one that will take you most of the way. Along the way, you'll have views on the right of the ridge that separates this area from Santa Rosa. There are many trails that will take you into those hills and you'll spot many bikers and runners on them.

As you continue, at about 0.8 miles into the hike, you'll come to a split in the roads, take a left. This will lead you over to Lizard Rock, keep going until you get to the most prominent rock on the hill. You can climb it and sit and take a break while you enjoy the views.

From there, continue south on the top of the ridge to get to Lizard Rock Trail, which takes you down to Wildwood Canyon Trail. This trail changes to singletrack as you descend towards the water treatment plant. There are usually no odors along this part of the trail.

Once you pass the plant, you'll be hiking along a creek on Wildwood Canyon Trail. At this point, you'll need to be very cautious of the Poison Oak that flourishes along the creek. You'll find it along the right side, and in some places, right up to the trail. You'll be fine as long as you stay on the trail and do not touch any plants or trees.

You'll pass along a campsite on the right. You can take a quick break there if you want, but I usually just pass it since you have to cross a part of the creek to get there. It is very secluded and doesn't usually see many people.

Next, you'll come into a campground. This is a good spot to take a break and use the restroom facilities that are towards the high side of the campground. There are tables and fire pits.

From here, take the wood plank bridge over the creek to continue your hike along the creek. Keep along the creek as there is a split in the road. At the end of the canyon, you'll come up to Paradise Falls. This is a perennial fall that has a very nice stadium-like atmosphere. You can hop over rocks to get to the other side of the creek (watch out for that Poison Oak again), and then walk to the left and climb some rocks for a nice place to have lunch as you look for turtles in the pond and enjoy the sound of the falls!

Once you are finished enjoying the falls, take the steps up to the trail and head right (to the left will take you to the famous Teepee Trail). This is a singletrack trail. If you would rather take a shorter route, you can head up the Teepee Trail where you can enjoy a nice water break (there is a water fountain here) as well as the shade provided by the teepee to cool down after the tough climb. It is a steeper climb through to get to it, so take plenty of breaks.

Take Indian Cave Trail up the hill. You'll pass Indian Cave on the left and you can easily take a short detour if you'd like to see it. Across the connector is Moonridge Trail, then a short hike back to the entrance through some pretty flat terrain. Great hike for a quick local getaway!

Flora & Fauna

This hike begins on a flat plain, climbs up through chaparral, then moves down into the creek area where water-loving plants thrive. A lot of Poison Oak!!! Be very careful.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Jun 16, 2019
C S
May 5, 2019
Ollie Dellarocca
12h 00m
Mar 19, 2019
Amanda Rosenblum
Went up and down Santa Rosa trail, to Paradise Falls thenLizard Rock.Trails in good shape. Hills very green. Lots of wildflowers on northern trails. 7mi — 4h 00m
Mar 1, 2019
Sage Newell
4.1mi
Feb 23, 2019
Sidney Plitman
4.2mi
Jan 27, 2019
Lindsay Clements
4mi
Jan 27, 2019
Harrison Pyne
leisurely hike with nice panoramic view at lizard rock. 4.1mi
Oct 20, 2018
Charlotte Bloemsma
Beautiful hike! 4.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 13 votes

#2095

Overall
  4.1 from 13 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
31%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#306

in California

#2,095

Overall
19 Views Last Month
1,685 Since May 19, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

0%
69%
31%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

The reward for a nice hike. Paradise Falls!  (beware of poison oak)
May 19, 2015 near Casa Co…, CA
The ridge that separates the park from Santa Rosa.
May 19, 2015 near Casa Co…, CA
A look into the canyon as you climb out of it on the wide dirt road.
May 19, 2015 near Casa Co…, CA
Planks for stream crossing and provided in several places in this part of the canyon.
Jun 2, 2018 near Casa Co…, CA
Spring wildflowers and sage present themselves along the trail.
Apr 6, 2017 near Casa Co…, CA
The Mesa Trail is exceptionally beautiful in the evenings.
Apr 6, 2017 near Casa Co…, CA

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking