- Location: 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. From the 5 Freeway, take the Disneyland Drive exit and head south. The park entrance will be on your left.
- Agency: Disneyland (Critter Country)
- Distance: 0.8 mile round trip walk from park entrance; 0.5 mile for the Splash Mountain Loop
- Elevation gain: Level
- Suggested time: 5 minutes for the loop plus time walking to Splash Mountain and waiting in line
- Recommended gear: FastPass
- Best season: Year-round (blackout dates may apply)
- More information: Article about native vs. non-native wildlife at Disneyland here
Since its opening in 1989, Splash Mountain has joined Holy Jim Falls, Black Star Canyon Falls and Upper Hot Springs Canyon Falls and one of Orange County’s most popular waterfalls. While the hike to Splash Mountain Falls is not quite as secluded an experience as some of O.C.’s other waterfalls, it has the advantages of better cell phone reception and no poison oak.
From the parking area, purchase your Disneyland admission ticket and follow Main St. north. Head left on the trail signed for Frontierland. Follow it as it threads its way between two catch basins, passing by local landmarks such as the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, both popular sites for social media posts (though not as much so as Potato Chip Rock).
Since walking up Splash Mountain is frowned upon by the local governing body (Disneyland), the best way to explore the loop is by log. You will be assisted into your log by a local ranger. After leaving the station, the logs are carried up a conveyor belt which may remind some hikers of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. After negotiating a small drop, the logs continue through a cave, decorated with various animated characters based on the “Brer Rabbit” stories, before making a final ascent to the top of Splash Mountain. The logs then make a 50-foot drop down the waterfall, guaranteed to soak both hikers and spectators alike, before returning to the station, completing the loop.
If you still have time and energy, consider other local hiking destinations: Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain and the Matterhorn.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons