Reservoir Canyon Falls

Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, California

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Reservoir Canyon Falls


  • The trailhead is across from a wide dirt pullout.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Pass through a gate and proceed straight down the wide dirt path.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Trail signs point the way to the Reservoir Canyon Trail that climbs the foothills. As long as you stick to the low ground, you'll end up at the falls.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • The wide path to the falls.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • An oak-shaded canyon surrounding the waterfall.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Reservoir Canyon Falls with the cave visible along its right side.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Reservoir Canyon Falls cascades 30 feet.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Sitting on an oak above the top of the falls.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
  • Return through the shady trail, or split off and hike to the top of the ridge afterward.- Reservoir Canyon Falls
Overview + Weather
Short, easy hike.
Poison oak.
Santa Maria Valley + Santa Lucia/La Panza Mountains, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
60.00 ft (18.29 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.50 mi (0.80 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
386.00 ft (117.65 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Reservoir Canyon Falls is the tallest waterfall in San Luis Obispo County. Located just 3 miles from San Luis Obispo, the cascade tumbles 30 feet into a shallow pool.

A short 400-foot walk down a wide dirt path leads to the falls that lie in an oak-shaded canyon. A large shaded area next to the falls makes for a great place to relax, particularly on a hot day. Flow is seasonal, and it's best to visit the falls in the spring months or after a rainstorm. The shallow, slow-moving pool at the bottom is also a great area to dip your feet on a hot day.

The falls lie along a short detour from the beginning of the Reservoir Canyon hiking trail, which climbs to a ridge overlooking the foothills, but they can easily be their own destination. Next to the falls is a cave of about 70 feet.

There are no amenities in the parking area. Be aware of poison oak that grows along the trail.

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(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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