Nojoqui Falls Park is tucked in the foothills of Solvang and features a waterfall hike.
This park is NOT in Orange County! It’s in Santa Barbara County which is about 3 and a half hours from OC. If you look at the “Family Travel” menu above, you’ll see plenty of family trip ideas to places outside Orange County. My NaturePlayClub.com site is launching this summer with even more NATURE for families!
The hike is VERY short, much more like a nature walk. I think it’s perfect for families. Our hike started on the drive out from Solvang, south along Alisal Road, which was beautiful in the late afternoon: moss hanging from the trees and the light playing with the leaves.
Here’s what the moss looks like up-close!
We parked a bit down the hill from the hike and passed this deer, grazing.
We had no idea what to expect and it turned out to be a very quiet hike, with only a few people on the chilly winter afternoon with little water in the stream.
The trail meanders over wooden bridges and up stone steps through a small canyon. You’ll hear squirrels rustling in the leaves on the ground and the wind rustling the leaves in the trees. Your feet will crunch on the dirt path as you dodge tree roots and boulders.
It’s a short hike, so give kids some time to explore the rocks and sticks. Stay on the trail because there is poison oak. There are two playgrounds back at the park, as well.
I’m hesitant to show you the video I took of the falls, because part of the joy in a hike like this is the surprise of what you will find at the end. So I’ll just show you the bottom trickle of the falls and you’ll have to go yourself to see the whole thing.
And then there’s the beautiful hike back down the trail.
About Nojoqui Falls Park and Waterfall Hike in Solvang
- Don’t go too late because the park is only open from 6am to Sunset.
- The hike only takes about 30 minutes, but give yourself at least 2 hours to stay and play at the park.
- Restrooms near the trailhead.
- You can park right near the trailhead (take a left from the entrance and follow the signs up the hill). But it’s not bad to park down nearer to the playground and hike up through the tree-covered parking lot.
- No fee for parking.
- Charcoal grills and picnic tables in the oak grove for a picnic lunch or dinner.
- Even if it’s hot out, bring a jacket because it can be cool in the shade of the trees.
- Not appropriate for wheelchairs, because there are stairs and lots of obstacles on the wide path.
- Jogger strollers would work okay, though. You can manuever over obstacles and carry it up the small amount of stairs.
- MAP to the park and other parks in Solvang
- Official Nojoqui Falls Park website
- I first discovered the Falls by reading the review on Trekaroo.com
Nojoqui Falls Park Playgrounds
There are 2 playgrounds at the park. One nearest the hike, and another on the right side of the entrance in a grassy field. There was a large family playing at that playground so I didn’t get a photo. Instead, we spent all our time at the nearest playground.
That playground had all sorts of wildlife evidence around. We saw tons of woodpeckers and other bird life. Be careful walking/running on the grass because there are some deep gopher holes on the way to the playground that might be surprising if you didn’t know they were there.
In the trees near the playground, you can see where the woodpeckers are storing their snacks.
And you can see clumps of mistletoe in the trees.
And keep an eye out for trees with big holes in their trunks! What do you suppose that’s from?