Cooper Canyon Falls Trail

MODERATE 130 reviews
#17 of 214 trails in

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 offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.2 miles
1,358 feet

dogs on leash




nature trips



partially paved



wild flowers


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.

9 days ago

We deviated from the trail (shortened the distance) as we planned on doing multiple hikes. We started at the Angeles Crest Highway at the base of Winston Peak. We took the PCT trail to the left of the dirt road and hiked on it until we rejoined the dirt road about a mile down the tail and then proceeded on the road to Cooper Canyon Campground. We then rejoined the PCT hiking towards Winston Ridge and continued on the PCT until it returned to our starting point. This route is about 5.5 miles and has an elevation gain of about 1300 feet. I would estimate that about half of the trail was snow covered. It was a very enjoyable hike. I gave it four stars only because there was only one spot that gave a good vista view.

21 days ago

Hike is nice except for the 2 miles on the road. No shade on the road, so pretty harsh in the summer.

3 months ago

Okay. AllTrails could use a "this campground costs money" marker, somehow. I mean, I could of looked up but myself before, but didn't even think about it. And if you want a good back country camp experience, stay away from Buckhorn camp. We should of set up shop at Cooper Canyon Camp, went to the falls & came back for the evening. My video on YouTube is on my channel, Outdoor Corn.

Started off at the trailhead, went into the canyon & made it to the falls. For those who had trouble, so did we, but it's a matter of following the stream/creek bed to the junction of Buckhorn Camp & the PCT - just past the 2.7 mile mark on this map, moving on the PCT route. Very quickly you will find a couple precarious looking paths to the left & if you head down, you'll find the ropes that lead you into the pool. We had it to ourselves & it was very enjoyable! Some tiny fish. A little moss. Some drip-drops from the falls...very nice. After that, we made our way to Buckhorn Camp...which, is the campground I wanted to visit, but when we got there, found it to be a "car camping" place. Ended up walking back to our car because we didn't bring cash (all spots were full anyway).

Overall good experience, great trail, but not having a place to camp was disappointing, since that was the main reason for our trip.

4 months ago

this Trail can get a little confusing because it runs into buckhart Trail and Burkhart Trail and they all come out of Buckhorn so the signs confused us a little and we missed the waterfall on the way down but we found it on the way back they could use a few more signs but it was a beautiful hike. it should be a lot better once we get some rain fall in the campgrounds are nice too

6 months ago

Awesome walked, loved the scenery and the waterfall was wonderful.

6 months ago

We did this to escape the heat in L.A.
Did the loop counter-clockwise from the last turnout before Bukhorn entrance. It's simply a matter of keeping a leftward tangent. Started at 5:30 pm and finished at 9:15 pm. It being July, we used a lot of repellent.
Very beautiful hike, especially with the low angle sunlight, and plenty of shade. But forget the falls. It was just too dry. As the evening sky set in, we took the PCT out of Cooper Canyon instead of the service road. It was worth it because as the trail gets up on to the rim of the canyon, you can see a lot of sky and surrounding mountains with that blue and orange colored sky. We had the trail all to ourselves.
The loop is closer to 8 miles than 6 because we took the trail instead of the service road coming out of Cooper Canyon trail camp. The map shows to use the service road, thus making it closer to 6 miles.

6 months ago

Awesome Trail going In all downhill, coming back all Uphill. Amazing view. Did purchace my adventure Pass.. Did the complete Loop and More Total 8.9 Miles. I love it.

7 months ago

This hike is pretty intense because it’s all a constant uphill. It does loop around, however you do walk up a campground and through a driving entrance and walk on the HWY for about half a mile. It totals up to 7.5-8 miles total. Not 6. It’s a great workout, great views, but TAKE LOTS AND LOTS Of water and snacks. Took about 5-6hrs to complete.

7 months ago

This loop has a ways on the busy main highway and on a paved road through Buckhorn Campground, so not the most ideal. The canyon views are great though and lots of conifers and wildflowers to see along the way.

7 months ago

This was a very hard hike that almost ended in a search party. Like an episode of survivor my boyfriend and I running out of water and almost fighting each other for food due to getting lost because of the lack of clearly marked trails. Almost died from heat stroke and as the sun set in the canyon video filmed our final goodbyes to our families as we surely thought we would die. Took four hours to hike back out. Never found the falls and by time we made it back to the car we both looked like Tom Hanks in castaway. Not recommend if you are not an avid hiker. Extremely windy hills with little to no markings. Unless you have Tonto with you or were a producer on Bear Grills's show I would leave this one alone. If you are hard pressed and will go anyways, make sure someone goes with you so you have something to eat when you get lost as we found squirrels are quite fast and beetles taste like shit. Good luck.

8 months ago

I love this trail! The mountain scenery, redwoods, forest, waterfall, creek and all, is just spectacular. Well worth the drive. I came up in the morning and there was a little bit a snow left on the ground, which soon melted after the sun beat down on the mountain side. A beautiful day for a hike and friendly hikers!

I compiled a vlog of my day. Check it out here:
Also, put together a playlist for the trail:

Highly recommend this one!

9 months ago

Great trail! There have a beautiful scenery and waterfall

9 months ago

Was a really easy trail and someone helpfully added some extra directions on the signs too!

10 months ago

Went after two days of rain in LA and was met with a ton of snow on the trail. We were ready for this but it made the trail much more difficult. Really beautiful in the snow though. Several creek crossings and was easy to lose the trail a couple of times at the creek crossing and in the campground. This loop has you walking on Ángels Crest Hwy for about a mile 20-25 min)

11 months ago

A very nice trail. Very run-able type of trail. Has some water in the creek and the fresh pine smells amazing. A little snow left on the hillsides, but the trail is very dry.

11 months ago

Great trail. Make sure once you cross the little creek, hang left and you'll run into the water fall about a quarter of a mile from the main trail. (Listen to the water) You'll have to walk back to get to the main trail but it's worth it. The last 2 miles or so become paved roads and eventually you'll have to walk along the main road. Highway 2 I think. Wasn't to excited about that portion of the hike, but other than that, amazing hike.

Monday, January 15, 2018

good trail, lots of nice trees to see and some nice creeks to cross

Sunday, January 07, 2018

I hiked this trail in the spring time after a heavy el nino season and it was amazing.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Great trail. lots of shade.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

One of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This place is great and I just love the area. This is a year-round waterfall and water flow depends on rain season. This waterfall is easy to miss and the first time I tried finding Cooper Canyon falls I ended up at Burkhart Saddle. You take Burkhart trail all the way down to you get to the Pacific Crest Trail Junction and make a right. It is not far from the junction and can be missed. Make sure you give yourself double the time on your return trip since it is all uphill on your return to the parking lot. Make sure to pass all the campground sites and park at the designated parking area for the trailhead(You will get a ticket if you park at the camping slots). There are also some waterfalls on your way up that I believe is better than Copper Canyon Falls. You can see use trails that lead to the creek that will lead to the other waterfalls. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes if you are going to go exploring. I am also not responsible if you get hurt. Be safe...

Distance: 3.1-miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 638 Feet
Time: 1.5 hour round trip
Hike Type: Out and Back
Rating: Class 1, easy
Dog-friendly: Yes(depends on dog)
Mountain Bike Friendly: Yes up to the PCT
Kid Friendly: Yes, but return incline is tough
Parking: Adventure Pass

Thursday, August 17, 2017

We couldn't find the waterfall.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed this trail. The Canyon is much much cooler than the surrounding areas, probably due to the water. We didn't actually see the falls on our hike (our fault for not paying more attention to where things are), but thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The last mile hiking along highway 2 is rather mundane, but other than that, this is a great hike.

Friday, July 21, 2017

There are two trails and one dirt road at the trailhead. We made the mistake of heading to the upward bound trailhead and found ourselves on Winston peak! It was a beautiful day and beautiful hike. Hope you enjoy it too.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Great moderate hike. LA was extremely hot and it was nice to be in the high elevation where it was 20 degrees cooler. Very few people on the trail and a lot of shade from beautiful redwoods and pines. There is still water in the river at the bottom of the trail but never saw the waterfall. Maybe next time. Would do it differently next time and probably not do the loop to avoid walking on the highway for a mile at the end.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Beautiful hike with very few other hikers. Parked at Cloudburst Summit and decided to continue along the flat path instead of continuing on the PCT. There are two steep paths after you past the Burkhart Trail to get to the rope which leads to the bottom of the falls. Seems like the hot summer days has left just a trickle, but still a beautiful and peaceful area to relax. We tried to do the "loop" and continue back on Buckhart Trail to Angeles Crest Highway. Although Buckhart Trail is nice too, the walk back on the highway was seemingly dangerous and not as enjoyable if we had just walked back the PCT.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beautiful and relatively easy hike near Mt. Waterman in the San Gabriels. Trail is shaded by the massive pines and cedars throughout the valley. Maybe it was because of the temperature (90+), but we saw almost no one else on the trail. At this time, the falls are just a trickle...but still a serene and pleasant reprieve. Some trout in the pool at the base of the falls too!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

This hike was one of the easiest I been to.. really beautiful waterfall although it's really crowded.. and I couldn't enjoy the waterfall at all but either than that it was a nice experience. On my way back I found 2 other waterfalls and amazing views..

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

One of my favorite hikes.. beautiful and pretty cool waterfall.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Busy near the camps and parking, but quiet for much of the trail. Streams still running so made pleasant location for mid-hike picnic. Did the loop counter-clockwise finishing with the walk along hwy 2, which is nice except when being passed by motorcycles. Going this direction made the climb out of the canyon less steep than the single track near the trailhead.

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