3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls
[out of 5]
|For:||Agility required, difficult rock climb, primitive trail|
3 Pools and 7 Falls are probably the most fun of all the Tunnel Trail hikes. Neither is easy, but both are fun because of the opportunity to go for a dip in the creek. Most people in some kind of decent shape can handle these hikes, but because of the rock hopping (and for 3 Pools there is a very difficult rock to climb) most people end up a little sore the next day.
The trail begins on a paved access road that the Edison Company uses. After a mile the road turns to dirt and you follow it just a little more toward the turnoff to Inspiration Pt. Instead of going to Inspiration Pt, you turn right and head up a very steep trail that takes you above 7 Falls and back down to the creek again to a wonderful, deep series of pools, one of which is popular for daredevil, feet first jumping from a 15 ft. cliff.
The hike is about 3 or 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft.
Please note: Parking at the trailhead is limited and strict. You must park behind the white line or else they really do ticket and tow. It is a congested neighborhood and parking within the white line helps emergency vehicles get through. Please be courteous to car traffic as you walk up and down the road and let residents get through. Please keep dogs on leash because there is a flock of free-range chickens that lives in the area. Residents have been pretty vocal about the traffic and safety issues in the area and your courtesy will keep the trailhead open.
3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls UpdatesUpdate trail conditions
Posted: May 14, 2013, 9:53 pm
Posted: May 14, 2013, 7:38 pm
The bottom pools are pretty dry and filled with stagnate water with back-swimmers and salamanders. The top three pools remain active and filled with water. I went for a few jumps in the deepest pool. Hike worth more than the elevation change. Anyone that enjoys jumping into cool water should definitely check this hike out.Please don't be discouraged by the water level at the bottom as the top still has plenty.
Posted: August 7, 2011, 11:14 pm
by: Cross Tie Walker
Mission Creek Pools. Cold.
The flow is low, but the pools are all full (and clear) to the brim, and *cold*. Even the pool at the Mission Creek/Jesusita/Cathedral crossing was ~4' deep.
Use trails are full of PO; watch your step. Rock-hopping up and back is probably the safer route right now if you're susceptible.
Some photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157627382511568/
Posted: June 9, 2011, 3:17 pm
Posted: May 31, 2011, 3:45 pm
Last year, the top pool, had lots of rocks and sediment and the depth was around 4 feet.
This year the sediment is gone and the depth is back to around 10 to 13 feet.
Posted: August 17, 2010, 1:32 am
by: Cross Tie Walker
Some pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157624743071390/
Posted: May 16, 2010, 7:26 pm
We had the idea to organize a group to bring buckets and dredge the top pool. Daniel began to remove rocks and found a gelatin mass of newt eggs underneath a rock. See photo:
We realized a simple project like this has an environmental impact. Dan put the rock back in the pool.
Posted: March 28, 2010, 5:58 pm
Posted: January 24, 2010, 9:07 pm
Since the fire burned the entire area down the exact trail (the part that is not in the creek) is kind of hard to follow but to find back to it is not a big deal.
Everybody who had been there before kept saying that the pools are definitely deep enough to jump in. WRONG!!! I don't know if the hard rain caused it but a lot of sediments (sand and gravel) got washed into the pools so jumping without checking the depth (because you might have done it before) is not advisable. Using the fall as a slide is possible and recommended, its fun.
I was wearing my Vibram Fivefingers, which was a lot of fun. No worries about stepping into the water and perfect grip on the rocks ... a trail made for these shoes. Any kind of water shoe is in general not a bad idea. backpack
Posted: March 25, 2009, 11:37 pm
First, we missed the well-worn turnoff that's only about 100 feet past the end of the pavement (weeds have grown to cover the sign - but STILL the trail is VERY well worn and should have been a giveway). So we managed to follow the VERY steep main trail to (???) quite a way before it occurred to me that NONE of this felt right. We backtracked and quickly spotted the trail.
The walk up the creek was tougher than expected in spots, because of the smaller rocks; the big boulders were much easier to navigate until...
Seven Falls - the water was stagnant or completely dry (in the shallower pools). We didn't really understand the climbing skills needed on this part of the CREEK walk. The traverse steps were too far apart for even the long-legged 8-year-old (who, by the way, is a better climber than I). We watched a couple of small groups struggle up the "stairsteps," then started our descent. THAT's when we spotted...
the trail! Not easy. Not clear of poison oak, but CERTAINLY a way around!
Found one more really tough climbing spot (for short people), but helped each other out and finally found our way to our reward - FANTASTICALLY clear, cool pools - three of 'em in great repair. I was pleased to find little trash in the area. (We carried out two beer cans, a water bottle and rice crispy bar wrapper - none of which we'd carried in.) The water was a great reward, and the people we met along the way were friendly, helpful and relaxed. WONDERFUL!
I would not suggest this trek for anyone under age 12 unless the kids are used to hiking (mine are VERY used to hiking), adventurous, and their parents are VERY interested in expending a LOT of energy helping them.