The Waterfall Trail is an incredibly scenic hike leading to a sandstone grotto at the base of a seasonal 60-foot waterfall within the Garland Ranch Regional Park.
Backing up against the northern end of the Santa Lucia Mountains and perched just above the Carmel River Valley, the Waterfall Trail is a lush and shaded hike up a winding trail with only about 150 feet of elevation gain—most of which comes in the immediate approach to the falls.
The Waterfall Trail is accessed most directly from a point along the Lupine Loop Trail. Though the initial junction is marked, other forks along the trail are not marked as clearly. A trail map is available for purchase for $1 from the visitor center, and loaner maps are also available. These other trails can be taken to form a loop back to the park entrance and visitor center as well.
Though the area around the falls is green, the falls themselves flow seasonally and are best seen after a storm. Even during the cooler months, the falls may still only be a trickle. This trail also tends to be one of the more crowded trails within the park, so expect to see other hikers along your way.
Garland Ranch Regional Park is open daily from sunrise until half an hour after sunset. Entrance is free. Water, bathrooms, trash, and recycling are available at the visitor center just inside the park's main entrance.