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Loved it, took my 8 year old brother with me. Definitely less crowded.

I saw a coyote pup and a rabbit while hiking on the trail. Beautiful views with well maintained dirt roads. Up and down steep hills all along the way. Bring plenty of water - a great trail for running!

A little sore on the ankles but well worth it!

Great hike, long but pretty easy. You have to cross lots of streams so be prepared to get a bit wet. Totally worth it. Remember to get your adventure pass.

This hike gave us the biggest challenge so far. Made it to the bridge and back in over 4 hours or maybe 5 lol... it was well worth it. Beautiful scenery to and from. Good a$$ kicking hike. Will have to do it again.

hiking
12 days ago

BRING LOTS OF WATER!!

Did this trail over the weekend and first off, it is closer to 11 miles round trip, not 9. Each person should have at least 3 liters of water. This trail is an easy trail, very slight elevation increase the entire way. It is however a long trail, so if you're not used to hiking 10+ miles, be ready.

The trail is pretty great, pay attention and you can see old pieces of road throughout the hike, yes, they are covered in dirt but once you notice and realize there was once a road the entire way you start seeing it all over.

Start early, the path going out isn't bad because of the position of the sun, you'll get morning shade most of the way. Coming back though, it's direct sun almost the entire path.

Once you make it to the bridge you can cross the bridge and go to the bottom. We sat there and ate lunch with our feet in the stream, it's pretty awesome down there at the bottom.

The earlier you get here, the better the parking will be. The lot fills up early, we got here at 7:30 and had to park about 1/3rd of a mile down the road. Also, buy a parking pass in advance, they are $5 for a day pass or $30 for a year pass. It's good at 4 local parks and is a parking hangtag, so just get the annual pass. I got mine at Big 5 but they're sold all over.

There is about 5 water crossings each way. In the summer you can probably skip rocks to cross each time, if there has been any recent rain you will get wet crossing the stream.

Lastly, check the weather report, if there is a chance of rain I'd stay away from this path. You're hiking in a ravine and this path does regularly have flash floods. People die on this trail from being trapped in flash floods. I came across one cross where someone had died on the trail.

I would definitely do this hike again.

13 days ago

There’s no marked parking area. You have to park on the highway and walk about 1.5 miles on a paved road before you even get to the trail. There is trash littered everywhere. Almost all the bigger rocks have been tagged-kids suck. The trails are marked with blue/green/red paint which is somewhat helpful if you ignore the colors and just follow the markings. I took my dogs with me and they played in the water a bit but they smelled like a sewer when we got home.

great trail but careful - I almost stepped on a rattlesnake (Southern Pacific Rattlesnake from doing some research) there today!! Was down by the river about 3 miles in. It was just under a fallen tree trunk about a foot off the ground that I was walking on - from the path to the river.

Nice but hot in summer.
Across the river 4-5 times, you could make it without wet..I did. Took 5 hours.

Took me 6 and 10 yr olds, they had a blast. Once we got to the bridge we went swimming and had lunch down at the bottom watching people bungee jump. On the way back we saw some rams. If you go early morning, weather is not to bad.

This could be really beautiful, but people ruined it by leaving trash everywhere and graffitiing the rocks. I don’t understand why people would want to trash something so beautiful!
Leave no trace!

This trail was awesome!! Nice view almost all around, no shade however is worthy

This is a gorgeous hike but I was SO disappointed by how much trash was on the trail. Picked up 17 water/Gatorade bottles and three dog poop bags worth of garbage. I don’t understand how people can hike to enjoy nature and then trash it.

The beginning of the trail to the waterfall is easy. If you decide to continue up the trail to the left you’re at an incline until you reach the Deer Valley Loop. That’s another mile-ish loop and then you go back down the way you came.
There isn’t much shade on the trail, only when you reach the abandoned structures along the way.
It’s really woodsy in some areas with streams, and there are lots of birds & lizards. Overall very beautiful, and quiet on the harder trail.

Great hiking trail with multiple hills and great views of the Pacific Ocean. This is our go-to hike near our home in OC.

A little harder than moderate at some of the road diversions. Warm and sunny! Loved it. You can see the ocean from some spots.

We strayed from the path a few times, willingly. The stream pretty much takes you all the way there. There are a few moments where the trail becomes a little sketchy with walking on rock. You'll do a bit of climbing, but not enough to really call this a rock climbing trail. The most sketchy point is near the end, after the bridge, if you're planning on going into the water. We spent a few hours resting, swimming and jumping into the pools. We packed a light lunch and both had about 2 liters of water, which depleted near the end of our trip back. Overall, it was a good trip. We will definitely do it again, but be slightly more prepared. A lot of water is necessary! On our way back, people were asking if we had any extra water, but we had already ran out. You'll be crossing lots of streams, which is actually the best part about this trek, in my opinion. Plenty of times to wet your face, feet, back, whatever. And where there's water, there's vegetation, so the river crossings tend to be nice, shaded and casting a nice breeze. As you get closer to the bridge, you start going up the mountain, so it's less covered, but the views are gorgeous. Bring sunscreen. We saw tons of wildlife, folks panning for gold, and a man who somehow managed to ride a bike halfway to the bridge. It was cool. The bridge is fascinating, but looks much smaller than you'd imagine, upon arrival. Once you see the side of it, it's pretty neat. It's crazy that the bridge was build before WWII, yet it barely looks a day old.

Good cliffs to jump off

You hike up Cowls Mountains and off to the side at the top you proceed to Pyles. Take plenty of water. Get there early because parking can be limited and turn wheels to curb. It took 2 hours and 23 minutes to do both hikes.

Great trail! Multiple stream crossings. It can be hard to find the trail sometimes, but you follow the stream the whole way, so you'll be ok. There are currently some hot pink markers along the path to help guide you. We got to see a flock of big horned sheep which was really cool!

1st time hiking the trails in CA, and this one is great to start with. Nice and full of areas where to rest, good river crossings and shades, we did not get to end, but the 1 or 2 miles we did were awesome. Parking was bad since it was Earth Day 4/21/2018 we had to park all the way down by the entrance road bridge. We started walked in at around 1pm and stopped around 330 PM, we came out at around 5:00 PM (much faster going out).

We will try it again in a couple of weeks.

trail running
25 days ago

This is my favorite way to access the Cowles summit. Not nearly so busy as the main route up, and easy access from my neighborhood. It’s a nice run and a good workout.

Went there for my second time last Monday. Always equip yourselves with enough water( I took 7 but shud ve taken 10.), fruits, snacks and sandwiches . ..hat and shades. its a strenuos trail but not much incline. I crossed the stream a lot less than my 1st time... took a nice powernap by 6 30 pm at the end of the bridge b4 heading back...relaxin..will be going back soon

Great hike!! The ruins are quite interesting. Nice that they have a write-up on the home that used to be, complete with pictures. The falls were very nice, even though a bit light, as there has been no rain lately.

We wanted to take the entire loop, so we made the decision to follow other hikers’ advice and start out on the Rising Sun Trail. Taking this way gets the steep incline portion out of the way in the first leg of the hike, which really helped to make the rest more enjoyable.

At first we thought the falls were closed, because of an early sign saying “area closed”, but this is misleading. There is another way to the falls just behind the ruins, as this was essentially their back yard.

The way back alternated on a paved road and hopping over the tiny stream, and it was really nice...easy.

Great hike and do-able with kids. Watch for snakes!

Loved it so much nature to see and explore and not a hard hike at all.

It’s a wonderful hike in and out of there. Make sure to stay on the east side of the trail as much as possible once you pass the walls, otherwise you will get lost like I did. We saw at least 10 goats later in the day by the bridge. There’s a lot of spots to camp on the sides if you are too tired to go any further. It’s a beautiful hike, but it can be confusing sometimes.

Pretty good hike. Not hard at all. The trail does disappear so be careful we met some people getting lost. There are distinct purple/green/red arrows on rocks so look down and follow them! Or else you will be lost through the forest/stream. If you get there early enough don’t park in the street, drive in and there is very LIMITED park by the main entrance. It’s 3 in and 3 out of you want to go to the first punch bowl. That one is very nice. Be early or else you deal with families/young people etc. I went to the second waterfall. Got started at 8 Am and was done by 12ish... keep in mind we jumped in and swam a little. Pack a light lunch if you want to hangout, swim suit, towel and water shoes it’s a fun spot.

Great hike. Is more difficult than it looks, especially for people who did not care enough water or sun screen. Started ~10am and was back at the car by 3pm.

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