Buckhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mt Wilson, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Directions from La Canada, CA: Drive 34 miles up Angeles Crest Highway from Interstate 210. Turn left into Buckhorn Campground and continue to the Burkhart Trail parking lot on the far side.
Great hike and magnificent waterfall! A bit strenuous. Half way into the hike paths become very narrow and climbing down to the falls is a bit dangerous. I wouldn't recommend bringing little ones. The drive was a pain.
This place was cool. We hiked in at night and saw many small scorpions on the trail. We trail camped and my husband thinks he heard a bear checking out our camp but he was too scared to look! Glad we used our bear bag appropriately!
The falls are a little tough to find and you have to scale down with use of a rope ladder but it was totally worth it. Took our dog too. That was great!
This was a fun hike. The trail is easy to find, as it's labeled. You just need to go to the campground area. I went on 4/1/17 and there were a few patches of snow/ice on the ground, but not on the trail itself. The views are amazing! Know that you will be initially going down the mountain, which is easy. The hard part is to head out, since you're going up the mountain. There are areas where you step that are narrow. The waterfall is beautiful and to go to it, it's somewhat tricky. There's a rope to help you go down all the way to it. The hike was worth it!
With all the rain we had this year, I must say that the scenery here was my favorite so far from the rest of the trails I've done. Creeks are flowing and the trees are green. Loved it!
This is officially my favorite hike of the season so far!
The hike from the actual trailhead is only about 3.1 miles round trip. However, the road to Buckhorn Campgrounds and the campground itself are currently closed, so you have to tack on about a 2 extra miles (one in and one out) to park (park at the exit road, there's actual spaces for a few cars unlike the entrance road) and then walk to the trailhead. An adventure pass is required to park at the trailhead, so probably best to display a pass even parking outside to be on the safe side.
Check out the campgrounds map to make sure you don't miss the small off-road to the trailhead when walking through.
Burkhart Trail offers some stunning views, interesting rock formations, sounds and views of creeks, and impressively large redwood and oak trees. There was a massive fire here years ago, so it's interesting to see the contrast between the damaged parts of the forest and all the new growth or survivors making it through. Many of the hollow bases of the redwood trees are clearly charred, baked from the inside from the wildfire.
The first half of the hike is mostly a gradual descent, so remember you will need to ascend when hiking back out. The incline out isn't bad, but the air is thin due to the altitude, so give yourself time to take it slow on the way out.
When hiking to the falls, don't go all the way to the end of the trail that is outlined in red in the AllTrails app map displayed on this page. That will actually take you about a quarter mile past the falls.
When you come across the very audible waterfall on your left and can look over the ledge of the trail to see a drop off, yes, those are the falls you are seeking. Walk a little further past the top of the falls to find the trail down. Just past a trail retaining wall, there appears to be a rough use descent trail. You can try descending here, but there's an easier path just a little further up and to the left. There's actually a tree a little down the path that's fallen across the trail, but is easily circumvented. Halfway down, there is a rope attached to a tree to guide you down and back up the last steep part to the canyon floor and base of the falls. When descending, just get on your butt at this point and slide down.
I brought my medium sized dog with me (53 lbs shepherd) and he got up and down just fine from here.
The falls are roaring right now with the fresh snow melt. There's a couple very conveniently placed large boulders for sunbathing and enjoying lunch with a view too.
2nd time coming here, definitely more water than last time I came. There was still plenty of snow. Waterfall was roaring
Did this in the snow, in just hiking boots. Snow was hard, so fairly easy to walk on. Bit tricky on the steeper sections.
Fortunately the last snow was more than a week previously, so others had hiked the trail, and their tracks were easy to follow, otherwise it would have been difficult to know where to go.
I did this back in August of 2016, forgot to write a review. I saved this one for middle of summer knowing it would be one place i could hike and stay cool. Perfect weather, a tad warm but still 20 degrees cooler then the cities, I went another 5 miles and back from where this map shows to Thrall peak. AND that 5 miles was fantastic, hard but worth every step, Lots of Deer, a fox, and many other critters, no humans, and amazing scenery.
I did that trail coming back from Cooper Canyon loop.
Great trail with amazing scenery. Difficult to hike through during the snowy season. Might not be kid friendly if you are trying to reach the waterfall as it's a 2 mile hike that takes about an hour and a half to complete each way. Waterfall is somewhat small but beautiful. I would recommend taking lots of water and snacks and to rest along the way. The waterfall is down a valley that you have to be very careful to climb down to. There's a rope tied to a tree that helps you get down to the base of the waterfall but I would be careful going down with kids and pets. Overall great trail but can be difficult for some people during the snow time. Great place to enjoy the snow.
Beautiful trees and redwoods. Really enjoyed this hike. We went out on Buckhorn and returned to Cloudburst Summit. Lots of tree cover on the trail. Really beautiful, steep at times, but not overly difficult.
The scenery is pristine and beautiful, though I wish there would've been more water at the waterfall. If you're going on a hot day, the walk back up the hill makes this trail feel more like a moderate hike. I'm sure it's a lot easier on a cooler day (it was in the mid-80s when I went).
Very beautiful scenic walk, nice descent which makes for a great uphill hike on the way back.
Nice hike into the canyon but an uphill slog on the way out. Really nice scenery though and some great redwoods.