Cooper Canyon Falls Trail

MODERATE 17 reviews
#22 of 124 trails in

Cooper Canyon Falls Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mt Wilson, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles 1465 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

Moderate hike, go straight at fork a mile down trail, don't go left towards cooper canyon campground. Steep route from trail down to waterfall pool, use the rope. This is one of the most enjoyable hikes around the Los Angeles area. The hike moves through pristine wilderness area along a magnificent section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Fragrant pine and cedar forests loom overhead with the soothing sound of trickling water in Cooper Canyon creek just dazzles the senses. After crossing the creek in Cooper Canyon you will see a large waterfall up to the left which is accessible by using a steep trail down to a large pool at the base. Cooper Canyon Falls just roars in the springtime! Continuing on, soon you will see Mt. Williamson emerging in the background and you will arrive at Little Rock Creek, a great place to have lunch before starting the final ascent up the trail. On the way back up you will encounter Rattlesnake Spring, a lightly cascading waterfall that sounds like a soothing indoor fountain and a much needed respite as you grind your way back up to Eagle's Roost parking area.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail. Hiked in early January of this year. Waterfall was frozen over and the streams were too. So pretty. Make sure, if you go at this time, you have warm enough clothes. Also the ground can be icy at some points. Highly recommend.

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

It was a nice day to hike..we passed the falls coz theres not much signages to it.. Whoever left that rope is amazing!! Rapelling down and up the waterwalls just adds to the adventure

hiking
6 months ago

Since there are multiple trailhead options to get to these falls, my husband and I chose a 6 mile option. 3 in, 3 out. we parked at Cloudburst Summit off highway 2 and took trail down. it can get confusing so make sure you get a trail map at the visitors center off hwy 2 prior to reaching the summit.
trail was beautiful with campgrounds along the way and restroom. You will have to climb down a steep embankment to falls but just straddle the rope that is there up and down and you will be fine. Pretty decent elevation climb on way back from falls for apprx the whole way, (apprx 3 miles). Would not recommend this trailhead for beginners. Moderate would be best. We had lunch at falls before starting back.
If you want an easier hike, park at Buckhorn campground and take trail. about 3 miles round trip and is rated as easy. That trail is Good for kids as long as they can climb down to falls.

hiking
8 months ago

Trail was great, loved it. Views of the mountains are beautiful. To get to the waterfall was not clear from where we parked. My husband has a better review of this trail (Alan Mudge).

8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

The trail was great, but the way to the waterfall is definitely not clear as other reviewers have stated. We parked off Angeles Crest SR 2, at Cloudburst Summit. We took the dirt road down to Cooper Canyon Campground. This is where it got confusing as to which way to go. There are no signs pointing to the waterfall. When you get here, go straight past the restroom, not to the right through the campground.

You'll go on the trail marked for Burkhardt Campground. When you get to the fork in trail after crossing creek, look for the sign (someone wrote with a sharpie the way to waterfall), turn left and the waterfall is less than a quarter mile down. You'll need to take steep side trail down. Someone left a rope to help get down.

9 months ago

1 year ago

This is a beautiful trail, and a nice easy to moderate hike.

That said, the side trail to the falls and pool is not clearly marked and is difficult to find. I turned too early and ended up at the top of the falls, which is very slippery and dangerous. If you end up at the top of the falls, TURN AROUND!! I wish someone would have told me that before I went.

Other than that, this is a pleasant hike.

camping
1 year ago

one of my favorite backpacking places. nice creek hike is super easy all down hill but on the way back very easy incline.

hiking
2 years ago

Did this as an out and back from cloudburst summit, mostly following PCT except we jumped onto the service road about halfway down, then resumed on PCT after the campground.
Yes, it's "backwards", the climb out was underestimated... But overall a super enjoyable hike. Did this in early Jan 2014. Super dry winter so far, so the falls were little more than a trickle but a very pleasant hike nonetheless. After the creek crossing, take a left at the fork and then look for a little side trail down to the falls. Very small snow patches on the part after the CG, a little icy. Saw 2 other couples all day. Whole hike took about 4 leisurely hours in total. Great hiking day in Angeles national forest.

hiking
3 years ago

An easy kid-friendly scenic 3 mile hike to Cooper Canyon Falls in the Angeles National Forest. (Date hiked: July 3, 2009.) Read the full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2009/07/20/family-friendly-day-hike-to-cooper-canyon-falls/

hiking
3 years ago

Amazing hike!! It's summer so don't expect a huge fall, but for the pure adventure of going out and getting the hike done it is worth it! Great ambiance, a lot of green, and surprisingly not that many other hikers on the trail. Took our dogs and they loved it, it's about a 2 hour hike with great scenery. Careful you might miss the fall. Once you wall past the sign that states cooper canyon trail one way and the other trail forward. Keep going and pass one steel retaining wall system and on the second go down and you'll find the pond and fall! Highly recommend!

hiking
3 years ago

TIPS:
+ Purchase an Adventure Pass either at the ranger station on the way to the trail or at your local Big 5/REI store: $5/day or $30/year.
+ Parking is available after you pass the Buckhorn Campground entrance. A short dirt road will lead you to the Burkhart trailhead.
+ Arrive early. My friend and I parked around 10:30 am on a Friday. By the time we returned (1 pm), half of the lot was full.
+ Follow the main trail. A sign is posted in the front and at the junction between Burkhart Trail 10W02 (forward) and Cooper Canyon Trail (to the left). DO NOT FOLLOW THE COOPER CANYON TRAIL/COOPER CANYON CAMP TO GET TO THE WATERFALL (lesson learned).
+ Wear appropriate attire. Its easy to brush yourself against the greens or slide down the rocks.
+ Bring lots of water and snacks! No trash can is available so be sure to dispose of your trash properly.
+ Dogs on leashes are allowed on this trail.

NOTES:
+ The trail is mainly switchbacks. Trekking there is downhill; hiking back is uphill.
+ The pathway width is narrow to fit only one person. Be careful not to slip for the sides of the mountain are steep.
+ Hiking towards the waterfall took a little over an hour with a couple of pit stops. My friend and I actually took the wrong route towards the Cooper Canyon Campground and didnt make it to the waterfall due to time constraints, but now we know for next time!
+ From what Ive read, the waterfall appears to be mossy. So dont expect too much, but enjoy the serenity of the environment instead.

LESSONS:
+ Read about your trail prior to attempting it. Youll definitely take in a lot more and appreciate it nonetheless. Read about other peoples experiences in order to learn from what theyve done.

[STATS] Summer-July. Late-AM. Sunny-60s. Very light.

hiking
4 years ago

Very nice hike. Did this with a buddy. We took two cars, parked one car at Eagle's Roost parking area and drove back down to Cloudburst parking area. First 2 miles or so was down the canyons with some shade but grand views of the mountains above. The waterfall was out of this world. It's like your sitting in Asian mountain, the waterfall was just a trickle but coming down through moss and rock. From the main trail, climb down the canyon to the waterfall pond. There is a rope to help you get to the bottom. Onward, we continued on Pacific Crest Trail, which is very rough because it's not well maintained and very narrow (maybe not many traverse that trail), easy to slip so be careful. The rest of the trail is straight forward, ascent all the way and climbing over a few fallen trees

hiking
5 years ago

I hiked this trail 11/9 with about 6" of snow on the majority of the trail. Went out-and-back via Buckhorn. Sign was posted at the entrance to Buckhorn Campground stating that the trails were closed due to weather. WHAT?!? The hike was beautiful and the air was crisp with pine. Water was running pretty low but the falls were spectacular! Icicles all around the waterfall along with patches of snow covering the the sides of the falls. Highly recommended for all! Just remember it's a decent enough elevation to make you pant a little heavier, so take it slow, and remember that its a "upside-down" hike either going out-and-back from Buckhorn or the loop from Eagle's Roost.

Previously completed on 3/18/2011 with much more snow (harder packed at least) and a much higher flow of water! This time I dropped a bike off at Eagle's Roost, chained it to the yellow gate, and parked the car at Buckhorn. Longer and more strenuous hike this way. But the 2mi. downhill ride to the car was worth it!

hiking
5 years ago

Cooper Falls is Beautiful. I went there when the campground was closed so there was NObody there..lol There were a ton of trout in the pool at cooper. I recommend visiting Buckhorn falls while you are there.