Cooper Canyon Falls Trail is a 6.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mt Wilson, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
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.
I was expecting cool weather, so I dressed in layers. The first 3rd or so was mostly unshaded around noon so it was pretty warm, even with only a base layer on top. However, once we got to the waterfall things cooled off considerably. You could probably get away with short sleeves if you keep moving, but we stopped for pictures.
There's still a lot of snow on the ground, particularly on the return leg toward Buckhorn campground. The trail got quite narrow and icy which added to the difficulty a bit. The creeks are flowing strong which makes for a spectacular waterfall, but also 2 potentially wet crossings. Be sure to bring waterproof high-tops.
The scenery was great: lots of redwoods, lots of ladybugs, and the constant sound of trickling water. Worthy of 5 stars once they can clean up all the fallen trees and the ice melts.
Really nice loop I made the whole loop.
Really hard hike in the snow. I'm a healthy mid 30's who works out all the time. Lots of snow on ground which made it amazing. But really hard going up hill for more then half the hike. Should have done clockwise rather then counter clockwise loop. Scenery is fantastic. Highly recommend. Wasn't able to find the waterfall. Snow might have blocked it.
It's a great trail... although to get to the waterfall it can be tricky if it's your first time going. We didn't see no waterfall signage. If you take down the fire road you will come across some restrooms. Once you pass the restrooms about 2 miles in, the trail divides but you have to be on the look out to take the trail that is on your right going downhill. You then are going to reach an area that requires you to cross the river stream ... you will then continue the trail about .2 miles to reach the waterfall area. To get down to the waterfall it can be challenging and dangerous.. you have to climb down some rocks. Someone did place a rope to facilitate going down and up. Hope this helps! Enjoy and be safe :)
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.
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
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.
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).