Copper Creek Trail is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near San Marcos, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
226 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

no dogs

Go past the electrical tower almost towards the back of the landfill building. There are a couple of dumpsters. Behind those is where the trail actually starts. Trail is a little over grown in some areas but still easy to access and not difficult overall.

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike with slight downhill grade to the very end. Follows the creek and crosses it a few times with small bridges. The narrow path was muddy and, in some places, was filled with water from that morning's rain. It's a tradeoff: a little mud and water-soaked areas, but you get to see the "waterfall" with more volume. If you want to continue to Horned Lizard Trail, take the west fork at the waterfall. The trail described here ends with a 'No Trespassing' sign to the west (blocking a connection to the fire road).

walking
19 days ago

Great walk with the family to the falls. part of the trail was a little muddy and a few parts were rocky otherwise great.

2 months ago

nice walk.

walking
2 months ago

A Monday morning walk. Trying my new walking sticks. Most of trail not needed, glad I had them for several loose rocky patches both up and down. Made it all a he way in and out in just at two hours. Warm sunny day glad for the shady places. Met one fellow running the trail. Didn’t inspire me to run though.

trail running
3 months ago

Good for afternoon walk! Feel like you’re in a forest. Hug the landfill buildings until you get to trailhead. In and out within an hour with time to poke around waterfalls.

hiking
3 months ago

Did this hike around 0800 in the morning and was the only person on the trail the entire time. Very cool area and beautiful little waterfall when you get to the old mine camp area.

6 months ago

It’s a nice hike but you need to watch where you walk on part of the trail because it is rocky. I loved the bridges and the water was relaxing.

hiking
8 months ago

The trail down to the falls has been blocked off. Still a pretty decent little hike though

walking
8 months ago

Very easy hike. We went the wrong way.. so if you go up on the incline you are going the wrong way. Came down and we went down the other trail but the kiddo's were done so we didn't see the waterfall. Will come back again and try the right path to the waterfall. Want to keep the 11 - 15 years old happy for next hike.

walking
8 months ago

You can also access Copper Creek Waterfall from the La Costa Oaks side off Camino Junipero Road. Follow the fire road where the large power lines run east, and then catch the trail down into the canyon. There are remnants of the old copper mine, including foundation slabs, mine tails, and even the small entrance to the old mine. A cool little hidden gem, and a nice tiny swimming hole for those brave enough to dip a toe.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail is a hidden gem! Very flat and short trail so excellent for younger kids.
The parking is in a big open area in front of an abandoned looking industrial building. If you are driving west on San Elijo rd, you will pass an Albertsons on the left. The parking area is about 1/4 mile past it. Once parked, pick a trail that heads towards the building. Keep left. This should lead you to a somewhat paved road next to a fence. Keep walking down and you will pass some storage lockers to your left. The trailhead is a little under 1/4 mile past it. At the trailhead are some walking sticks that you can take on your hike and return once you are done- so cool.
About 1/2 mile in, you will come across another trail sign with two paths. Stay to the RIGHT. The other way is more uphill and takes longer! Keep going on the right path and you will start to come across some nice footbridges. After that, it’s only another 1/2 mile until you’ll reach the waterfall. The waterfall is down a hill from the trail and is tricky to get down there since it’s steep, rocky and a little slippery. But you can still see it from the top.
Overall, this hike is a little under 3 miles out and back and made it the perfect post dinner family hike during the week!

hiking
9 months ago

*****TICK WARNING*****

*****no pets allowed*****
:( came home to find what I believe was a tick on my shoulder.. however it was an amazing trial!! definitely enjoyed the peacefulness! the trail is not marked and had to rely on the Alltrail map to guide me. Heard a couple of rattlesnakes however didn't see them. my suggestion is to bring a pair of trekking poles or even a good couple of sticks. Had to use them to climb down to the waterfall and if you don't have good footing most definitely higher chance to slip and fall. Cell service was good out there (TMobile). The scenery was absolutely phenomenal phenomenal!! I only saw 2 people on the trail. Highly recommend to do this trail. was super easy and definitely kid friendly.

hiking
9 months ago

Trail was beautiful but a bit overgrown, the path gets very narrow in several places. I would suggest bringing a stick as the rattlesnakes are out early this year. Had a very close encounter with one this past weekend! Overall a cool little trail, get confusing at the loop because you run into a sign that says End Trail which ends in new construction, nevertheless, the navigation on the app helped get us on track.

hiking
10 months ago

I wish someone would have wrote the review I'm about to write to allow you to understand the waterfall is not accessible to little kids or Senior Citizens that aren't FIT or avid hikers. The pics had us excited to take our families on this hike and enjoy the waterfall and the wonders surrounding it from the pics that have been posted. Although, it was a nice little hike it was not possible for the little kids to access the waterfall. I wouldn't recommend anyone who's younger than a teenager to try to go down to the waterfall. Climbing down there was quite dangerous and it's easy to slip on the dirt and severely hurt yourself. I wouldn't recommend going down there unless your confident that you safe and secure. It was very disappointing to the kids because it was not safe for them to climb down on their own or even with an adult so they were not happy to have to stay up on the trail. The only ones that went down there was me and my teenage son. I'm posting a picture of what the climb down looks like to the Minature Waterfall. Good Luck!
oh and if you start to hike up an incline you've gone too far and are now on the Copper creek trail rather than the Copper Creek Falls Trail. The trail is pretty much level with very little hills and bumps along the way.

hiking
10 months ago

Good trail for kids. Cool waterfall not far down the path.

hiking
10 months ago

Easy hike with a 5 and 7 year old. Not well marked so had to rely on GPS map at times.

11 months ago

Went to the left to start the loop. Most of the path was dirt service road towards the top it got confusing as there is new home construction. There are also a few different forks that dead end. My 3.9 loop turned into 6 miles. Finally got on the right path and caught the creek in the last two miles. Probably better to go late spring when water is flowing. The last two miles is a good single track, i was able to run almost the entire loop, so I would rate it easy/moderate.

hiking
11 months ago

So this trail is SUPER easy. Great little trail to hit if you have kids or aren't an avid hiker. There are no dogs allowed at all. An overzealous park trail leader even wanted to ticket us for my wife's service dog being with us, so just be aware. There is nothing very spectacular about this hike, and it js pretty over grown and hard to find. Nice if you want a short quick hike though.

11 months ago

one of my favorites. The view from the top is outstanding. I had no idea it was so beautiful

11 months ago

Tranquil trail that follows the creek. Follow the gravel road on the right side of the old landfill facility and then keep to the right when the trail splits and follow the signs to Copper Creek Trail.

hiking
Monday, January 15, 2018

Easy walk with a nice waterfall payout at the end. A little bit of scrambling gets you a decent view of the falls. There are at least two good viewing spots: one at the first place you hear the water rushing, at the old dam; and the other a little further along before you reach the gate marked no trespassing. If you cross this second set of falls and go up the hill, you'll come across a cave or possibly the remnants of an old copper mine. I didn't go in and wouldn't advise you to, either, but you can at least check out the entrance.

hiking
Monday, January 15, 2018

Wonderful, yet easy walk with plenty to see! I took along my 7 year old and my mom and they both had a blast. The only thing I’d suggest is to really be careful getting to the waterfall if not skipping that part altogether with young kids because the climb is a bit dangerous. But we made it without any issues so it’s up to you.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

nice steady hike for anyone looking for a short and easy hike. except when climbing down to the fall. It's a little dangerous. be careful. the hiking trail is also tricky. there is no sighn,one way. but it's next to a culdesac/pull out area. You will see big industrial building to left and big wall. keep going straight, you will see tracks on dirt trail ,soon you will come to actual trail head. veer right on trail, pass two bridges. then falls on the left. hidden behind overgrown bushes.

hiking
Sunday, December 24, 2017

Very pretty, easy trail. Bit of a waterfall at the end. Rocky in some parts.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Very enjoyable afternoon hike with the kids!

walking
Sunday, November 12, 2017

wasn't to bad an easy walk

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Great trail just in San Elijo Hills. The kids love it.

hiking
Sunday, October 08, 2017

Very cool trail! Lots to see, few small waterfalls. Good afternoon hike

Load More