With winter weather (or at least L.A.'s version of winter) returning, bringing rain, many waterfalls hidden in the canyons and mountains of Southern California are coming to life. Whether you live in San Diego, the Inland Empire, Orange County or the San Gabriel Valley, odds are there's a waterfall right by you, just waiting to be discovered. Here are ten to check out...some of which may be familiar to you, some perhaps not. Either way, they are all great hiking destinations, especially when you want to cool off on a hot day.
Bonita Canyon (Newport Beach.) Not to be confused with the much taller waterfall in the San Gabriels, Bonita Canyon is a pleasant pocket of open space tucked away between some upscale housing developments. The 10-foot waterfall hidden in the canyon isn't Yosemite, but it's a pleasant little surprise in an area where one wouldn't expect much in the way of nature.
Coal Canyon. North Orange County isn't exactly known for its waterfalls, yet after rain, one can be found in the back of Coal Canyon, a pocket of open space near the Riverside County line.
Cooper Canyon Falls. High in the San Gabriel Mountains, elusive Cooper Canyon Falls cascades about 30 feet into a large pool. The secretive location - a rope is required to descend the steep rock face to the grotto - is part of the appeal.
Crab Creek. In the San Bernardino Mountains near Lake Arrowhead, the Fisherman's Camp Trail passes by Crab Creek, a tributary of Deep Creek, where a short scramble upstream will bring you to a 10-foot, unnamed waterfall.
Falls Canyon Falls. This one takes a while to get going, but once it does, the 80-foot cascade in the Angeles National Forest front country can be one of the most impressive in So Cal.
Green Valley Falls. In San Diego's Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Green Valley Falls cascades down two 10-foot tiers
Maidenhair Falls. Deeper in San Diego County, Maidenhair Falls is a true oasis in the middle of the desert. Starting in the open desert plain, this hike takes you up into a remote and rugged canyon to seasonal Maidenhair Falls, named for the ferns that border it.
Rubio Canyon. Starting in a residential Altadena neighborhood, the short hike to Rubio Canyon is understandably popular. Moss Grotto and Ribbon Rock Falls are the most easily accessible ones, but adventurous hikers can continue upstream to explore more waterfalls deeper in the canyon.
Tachevah Falls. This is a "dry" waterfall, in that even after rains, the volume of water usually amounts to just a trickle down the huge rock face. But while it might not fit the traditional idea of a waterfall, the rugged desert scenery of this hike makes it well worth a vsiit.
Trail Canyon. Conveniently located to the San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valley, Trail Canyon Falls - inaccessible for several years following the Station Fire - can be a real treat when water levels are strong. Even if there isn't much water, the hike through the wooded canyon to reach it is very enjoyable.