Copper Creek Trail

EASY 203 reviews

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

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
1 month ago

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

walking
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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

4 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
4 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.

4 months ago

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

4 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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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

7 months ago

Very enjoyable afternoon hike with the kids!

walking
7 months ago

wasn't to bad an easy walk

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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

8 months ago

Visiting from Az and thought it was fun! Nice little water fall at the end! Poorly marked at the beginning though. You park on the street of the closed land fill and literally follow the road RIGHT alongside the old building. Do note there are a couple other trails you'll see not sure where they lead. Once you pass the building you'll see the trail marker shortly after! Last thing to note is you'll come to another sign that says trail and points left.. the creek and waterfall is RIGHT and then continue for a bit. Nice mini paradise

backpacking
9 months ago

Pretty decent hike. Not difficult at all. For those new to the area, after you leave the parking/staging area, the trail is to the left. Do not travel on the right trails as that would take you away from the actual trail. The first part of the trail is travel directly next to the industrial area. Once pass that, the trail head is directly in front of you.

hiking
9 months ago

Eh it was ok. Waterfalls were tiny, nothing too spectacular. Also there is no way to figure out where the entrance is, we got turned around three times before we saw other people pull up and hike to it. On a positive note, pretty easy terrain for kids.

hiking
10 months ago

Great little hike good for any level- the "waterfall" is a nice surprise and I had no clue such a trail existed here

rock climbing
10 months ago

The waterfall is awesome! And easy! Please pick up your trash and don't litter! I saw so much trash yesterday and so disappointed. Don't hike if you're going to litter and ruin the environment people. Jesus. But anyway.. it was super fun and very easy. We parked in the neighborhood a little bit down the road next to the park. The trail isn't marked so when you go past the building and see the trail marker pointing left GO RIGHT. If you want a workout go past the falls and up WHIPTAIL loop. It's about 3 miles and moderately difficult. We did that and had a total of about 4.5 mikes for the day. Watch for hornet, wasps snakes and mountain lions. No swimming and no dogs allowed. Bring a friend and don't go alone.

10 months ago

great hike!

hiking
11 months ago

if at any point the hike doesn't seem easy, check and make sure you are still on the trail... one sign isn't so clear and found ourselves headed up hill a ways before we checked but it made for an extra challenge and a gorgeous view! trail is also pretty overgrown in some areas and only wide enough for 1 person

11 months ago

This trail took 60 to 75 minutes to complete. It is easy, not moderate, with mostly flat terrain. There are two or three spots with some elevation, but minor. I think anyone would do fine, including young children. I didn't go off trail to inspect the dam ruins in the creek, and only viewed the waterfall from the trail. Scrambling down to the dam or waterfall would require agility, but that is optional and off trail. Just a bit of wild flowers at the end of June, not much. Saw only lizards and birds for wildlife. Sections of the trail are shaded, which is why I gave this trail 4 stars instead of three. Much of the trail has to be walked single file. As other people have said, you park in the front of the gates to the landfill, walk on the right side of the deserted booths and huge building and follow the trail from there, staying to the right when you see the trail sign. Quiet trail on a Saturday morning, saw only 4 other hiking parties. I would do this trail again when I don't want a strenuous hike.

hiking
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fun trail. Trailhead was a little ways away from where we parked. Go left, 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. Not crowded (Tuesday afternoon) couple of other hikers, several mountain bikers, we were mostly alone. Pretty trees & waterfalls were nice to checkout (saw some crawfish in the pools). Trail is a little over grown in some areas but still easy to access and not difficult overall.

Load More