While actually considered Riverside County, this beautiful waterfall sits just outside Orange County lines and is worthy of being included in this hiking guide. The hike in is only about 1/4 mile from the parking area. There are no signs for the falls and there are about 5 different trails that branch off from the parking area but during flow, you can actually see the top of the falls from Ortega Highway. There are 3 cascades of this waterfall and each of the trails zig zag their way to one of the cascades, if you stay to the right which is the most cut out trail, you will get to the upper cascade which is the best one in our opinion due to its beach sand bottom and ease of getting under the waterfall which feels amazing during hot summer days. The other cascades are less visited so you will likely not encounter anyone else at them but are also great to see and relax. I do not recommend hiking there late in the day, once the sun goes down, it can be tricky to find your way out but all the trails pretty much wind up back at Ortega Highway which you can usually hear the cars on.
To get here from Orange County, take Ortega Highway 74 for a good distance, after you pass the candy store on your right hand side, you will go about another mile through a major "S" bend which does a long left curve followed by a long right curve, after that, look for a giant dirt turnout on the left and right side, pull into the one on the left and that's where you'll begin your adventure.
Please consider picking up a few pieces of trash to keep the area enjoyable by all. I pick up at least 5 pieces of trash every time I go
To get here from Orange County, take Ortega Highway 74 13.4 miles past the Caspers Wilderness Park entrance. After you pass the candy store on your right hand side, you will go about another mile through a long "S" bend which does a long left curve followed by a long right curve. After that, look for a large dirt turnout on the left and right side, pull into the one on the left and that's where you'll begin your adventure.
From this dirt turnout, you can see the top of the waterfall so you'll know if it's flowing before you head in. There is no prominent maintained trail to get to the falls but as you're looking away from Ortega Hwy, stay on the trails to the right. Pretty much any of these paths will take you to one of the cascades of Ortega Falls but the main one is the upper falls which has the nice sandy bottom and is the most easy to access. It's less than 1/4 mile roundtrip.