Exploring Lytle Creek River in Lytle Creek, CA

Lytle Creek was a great activity for our family.  One where we could still get out and not be around anyone.  With the pandemic in full swing, we’ve had to try more isolated activities.  While It’s still possible to go out, safe options are getting even harder to find.  Lytle Creek is nice because you don’t have to hike far to enjoy nice clear water coming down from the mountain. 

The water in Lytle Creek is shallow, and we felt safe bringing the girls.  But it’s still important to note that small river washouts like Lytle Creek can quickly turn into fast-flowing rivers from raining weather further up the mountains.  So it’s best to check the weather before you ever venture into a riverbed.

Lytle Creek visiting info


  • Couldn’t find one


  • We parked on the road near the “Hidden Acres” Sign and walked down into the creek just north of the sign.
    • 955 Lytle Creek Rd, Lytle Creek, CA 92358


  • Daylight hours


  • $5 for the National Park Adventure Pass


  • You must purchase a National Park Adventure Pass to park. You can go to www.fs.usda.gov/adventurepass to find the nearest vendor. Since the Lytle Creek Ranger Station was closed due to Covid. We bought our pass at Melody’s Place/Scotland Store.
  • There isn’t much parking space. Maybe enough to fit a dozen cars. We would imagine it would be hard to find parking on the weekends.
Lytle Creek River 01

Random Tips from our visit

What we observed:

  • Bring shoes that you are willing to get wet in.
  • It could sometimes get windy/chilly in the area so we recommend bringing a jacket. 
  • There is no reception in the area.
  • Creek falls into shade in the early afternoon since it’s on the eastside of the mountain

Time spent:

  • 2 hours

Stroller/Wagon friendly:

  • No


  • Porta potties were available on the side of the road. We didn’t use them so we’re not sure about the cleanliness of them


  • Nice place to relax and enjoy mother nature
  • Hike to the falls (We didn’t do that on our visit, but plan to go back to do it)
  • Bring some chairs and have a picnic by the water
  • Great place for kids to play in the wet sand, throw rocks into the creek and splash around in the water

Covid-19 Precautions?

The only contact we had to adventure in Lytle Creek was purchasing our adventure pass to park the car. Thankfully with some forward-thinking, you can actually buy that pass online to avoid buying it in person.  While we were at the river we only got within 20 feet other people once.

Should you go?

Yeah, it’s a fun activity.  Plus, you can’t find anything else much safer to do right now.  The great thing about exploring Lytle Creek is that it’s relatively close to the road, so you don’t have to pack for a full day’s hike.  Within 5minutes of leaving the car, you can have soaked socks cursing the world that you don’t have proper outdoor gear.

Things to do nearby

We travel all over California searching for fun places to take the kids. Be sure to check out some of the other places we’ve visited that are good for kids. Things to do with Kids in Southern California

If you have any suggests on where we should go next please let us know in the comments below!

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