Burkhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls

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Angeles National Forest

Burkhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mount 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.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,013 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

The Burkhart trailhead starts near a small parking lot that is located in the back of the Buckhorn Campground. However, the Buckhorn Campground is closed as of May 2020 so you will have to find alternate ways to access the trailhead. One option is to park on the road and walk 1 mile through the campground to the trailhead. Follow the trail downhill for about 2.7 miles. Take a left at the fork where you could otherwise continue to the right toward the falls. Camp is about 1.3 miles further with some steady uphill. There are 2 stream crossings total. The campground is spread out with a large group campsite at the front. Other smaller sites can be found further in. Bear boxes (thank you Boy Scouts) and designated fire rings can be found in the sites. The creek that runs through camp was flowing very steadily with clear, cold water in mid-May after a wet winter. Start early -- trail gets hot and busy after 10am.

hiking
rocky
2 days ago

Awesome trail. Today a man fell and slammed on the rocks because the rope ripped on him. Be careful ! Hold onto the rope for safety but I would not advise to put your full wait on it and try climbing on the rocks while trying to leave the waterfall area.

2 days ago

Nice fun quick reversed hike. I only give it 4 stars due to all the people out on the trail with their boom boxes and trash. Folks I understand this are abnormal times but PLEASE be respectful and take your trash with you.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 days ago

It was a very good hike. Both my kids did this hike. Make sure to take enough water and some snacks for the trail. Make sure to be there early to get parking on the outside.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Great hike !!! Park at the far end leads straight to the hiking path. On the ledge but beautiful hike super doable for beginners and children. Once at the waterfall there’s limited space though

Very beautiful waterfall at the end that has a rope to climb down to. Going back is up hill but very doable and good exercise. Lots of shade. Lots of dogs off and on leash

5 days ago

this is a great Trail we went down just past the Cooper Canyon Trail intersection and there's a nice waterfall and there's plenty of shade on this hike with plenty of places to go swimming if you want but the water is cold the only downside is it's uphill coming back to the campground but nothing too serious I definitely recommend this hike

hiking
6 days ago

We did this trail yesterday (5/20/2020) and it was lovely. It’s a quite easy and well maintained trail, shade most of the way with a few sunny patches. The water is within earshot nearly the entire hike and once you get down into the canyon, the clear stream is wonderful. It’s downhill the whole way but it never felt very steep. We parked at the campground exit and we made it from our car to the falls in about an hour. The only part that requires some dexterity was climbing down to the creek at the bottom of the falls. It’s a short wet scramble with some ropes to help if you need some extra support. We passed only few small groups of people who all gave ample space while passing. The falls were much larger than we expected and flowing quite strong. We continued on to Cooper Canyon for a little extra distance, but that stretch of the trail was dry, sunny and a bit disappointing. However the Cooper Canyon camp area along the PCT was quite nice and we’re glad we found it. Definitely recommend the Burkhart trail down to the falls. The reward far outweighs the effort. Enjoy!

Beautiful trail. Started @ cloud burst summit. Down hill most of the way to the falls @ Cooper Cyn falls. Decided to go back via Burkhart trail because it was less of a steep uphill than going back the way we came in. Great scenery and not crowded, although we did go on a Tuesday.

Parked at the turnout just outside of the entrance. Super AMAZING HIKE!! 10/10 the main waterfall was full force and the views are spectacular Didn’t see any rattlesnakes but saw lots and lots of squirrels Arrived at 8:15. Didn’t see anyone on the trail until we were almost back at the campground around 10am. Meet a man hiking the PCT which was awesome. He’s been hiking for over a month and the stories he shared were lovely. He was very positive and nice. Found a second waterfall on our way back which was also very beautiful. Lots to explore on this trail. Don’t be scared to venture off a little.

hiking
muddy
rocky
10 days ago

This trail was amazing!!! Intermittent shade along the way, with more at the bottom. Some parts of the trail were a bit muddy, but nothing too bad. There were also some fallen logs on the trail, so you have to kinda maneuver around them but it was pretty easy. A tad overgrown in a few parts. Also, this trail crosses quite a few rock outcrops, so if you don’t really like that then this I wouldn’t recommend. There is a rope that helps you scale down to the falls (it’s a bit steep) but it was pretty easy. Also the cedars along this trail are HUGE and so amazing to look at. Almost mistook then for redwoods!! The trail starts in a campground, which m is closed, so you have to hike in to the trail head from the road, adding about 0.7 mi to the total distance. I should note, that I hiked in from the exit of the camp grounds, which is past the entrance on the left side, (easier to see on google maps). There is a little gravel turnout next to it and you can park there. However, I noticed that many people opted to park outside of the entrance to the campgrounds and hike in from there, which is a bit longer of a hike than from the exit.

hiking
11 days ago

Great time at this trail, please be advised that Buckhorn Campground is closed for the season. Park about 0.2 miles prior to the entrance of Buckhorn at a parking area just off Angeles Crest Highway (if you’re going North from LA, that is). Walk through Buckhorn Campground to find the entrance to Burkhart Trail. The official route ends at the Cooper Canyon falls. If you go past this a bit, you’ll end up on the Pacific Crest Trail, and it’s quite lovely and less crowded. With the addition past the waterfall we hiked 7.0 miles in around 2.5 hours.

hiking
12 days ago

The Burkhart Trail to Cooper Canyon Falls is an excellent trail: Great scenery on the way to the falls, a short climbing adventure to get to the base of the falls, and it features one of the best falls in Southern California. May is one of the best times to do the hike because the snowmelt feeds the falls. By autumn, the falls may be dry. If the road to the trailhead is open, the round trip is only about 3 miles. If the road to the trailhead is not open, or if the parking is full, you are directed to park outside of the exit to the Buckhorn campground, which is east of the campground entrance and makes the hike about 4.5 miles. The current Alltrails route goes from the entrance of the campground and stops at the junction of the Burkart trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. You need to go east on the PCT to get to the falls. Hopefully the map will be updated.

backpacking
muddy
12 days ago

Great trail with all downhill except for the last 1.3 miles into camp. Cold water from the creek. I wish I didn't pack 3L on the way in, I would have just filtered it had I known the creek runs right through camp. Chilly night in the upper 40s in mid-May. Dog loved it and so did my husband.

This is the best waterfall my wife and I have done thus far!! Kinda tricky getting to the trailhead tho. Coming from LA park at buckhorn camp site and walk down to the gate that says closed for season that will be on the left side of Angeles crest. Super easy hike getting to the waterfall but the hike back is a little more challenging. Beautiful scenery all the down. Water was running strong off the fall and super cold!!!!! We drove 1hr and 40min to get here and it was definitely worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

Don’t let the fact that the campground is closed scare you away! You can park in the lot right down the road & walk down to the trailhead. This trail was everything I was hoping it would be and more. There was plenty of shade, blooming flowers, a creek flowing along the trail for most of the way, and a huge rushing waterfall at the end! This hike features a log you have to walk across to cross the stream & there is rope by the falls to help you climb down. a perfect hike! The way back is uphill, so I feel like I got a solid workout in. This one is a must do!

hiking
14 days ago

Took it up to Will Thrall peak. It’s a good one!

hiking
15 days ago

Very beautiful and relaxing! A lot of up hills, highly recommend for a good workout

hiking
16 days ago

Really beautiful hike. The waterfall is flowing so strong right now. Someone was kind enough to tie a bunch of ropes, making it easier to climb up and down the slippery rocks to go down to the waterfall. The hike itself is super easy going down and on the way back, there’s a very small incline. So you’ll work up more of a sweat on your way back up. Getting to the trial itself was a bit tricky. I had to ask a few different people in order to figure out where this trail was since there’s no clear sign to indicate that you’re in the right place. I suggest downloading maps before you go since there’s no reception in the area. In can also get crowded, so the earlier you go, the better.

hiking
18 days ago

Good trail. Waterfall is nice and Cold. Good for a body shock. The trail continues to rattlesnake spring or palett mtn. Part of the pct. use caution. Don’t get lost.

22 days ago

this was a beautiful hike but the campground was closed so we had to hike in from Angeles Crest but the water is crystal clear the campgrounds are clean everybody picked up after themselves and we are going back in one or two weeks to hike all the way down to Cooper Canyon and back this is a great hike if you're going to drive up here make a day out of it you won't be disappointed

28 days ago

Far exceeded our expectations

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