I read about this place on Yelp called Hermit Falls. Reviews used words like cliff jumping, waterfall, and adrenalin junkies. Needless to say, it caught my attention. I decided it was worth hiking to.
Hermit Falls is located inside the Angeles National Forest. The drive up to it had beautiful views looking over Los Angeles and the valley. The scariest part was watching out for all of the bicyclists on the narrow winding road.
I parked next to the pack station which was closed. It was a great place; dirt parking lot and farm animals. I found the trail marked First Waterfall Trail. I dropped 600 feet elevation in 1.2 miles. There were some really narrow sections in the trail and I had to be careful with footing. It was absolutely breathtaking and the view was so expansive it was dizzying. I passed three guys on the trail who were in swim trunks. I asked if there was water at the falls and they said no, but there was still enough water to jump.
When I got to where the falls normally is, it was a trickle. I climbed around and found the 50′ jump off space. There was not near enough water to entice even this daredevil into jumping. I decided to keep my limbs in tact and hike back out.
The hike out was tough. I was sucking air and had to slow my pace several times in order to catch my breath. It kicked my ass, and I felt amazing after with all of the endorphines swimming around in my head. The drive down was filled with a sunset over the valley and a sense of accomplishment.