A hidden gem in Southern California
About 1.5 - 2 hours drive from Orange County depending on traffic, this waterfall is actually a great place to stop on the way home from Big Bear if you go down the back way (highway 38). Once you turn off highway 38 onto Valley Of The Falls Dr., it's about 4 miles to the end of the road which you'll reach a campground and a parking area for the trailhead. The hike itself is quite short at just under 1 mile. From the parking lot, you'll follow the trail that parallels the river, you'll find a few spots that are good to cross the river after a short ways depending on water level. Once across the river, you'll follow the trail up into the canyon perpendicular to this river, it's a very short but uphill hike until you reach the viewing area. There are people that will go around and boulder scramble to get to the base of the waterfall but it's not advised as it is dangerous and many rescues are performed there because of it so please use your best judgement and stay on the marked trail. Getting back to the parking lot is easy as you'll just follow the same path.
This area does get crowded during winter due to snow play and in the summer when it's hot as this is a great place to cool off in the cold river/creek. Also, since you'll be driving through a small community, make sure to obey posted speed limits and support the town in some way by stopping at the market and buying some snacks, also pick up some trash.