Cooper Canyon Falls

San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, California

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Cooper Canyon Falls


  • Trailhead parking area at the far end of Buckhorn Campground.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • A bench at the trailhead.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • The first portion of the trail traces a mountainside through oak and pine groves.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • Great views on the hike to Cooper Canyon Falls.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • A stream crossing at the bottom of the canyon.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • The trail joins the Pacific Crest Trail for a short distance.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • Ropes are in place to help climb to the falls.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • Cooper Canyon Falls pictured with low flow during the late summer.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • Cooper Canyon Falls.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • Watch for these hard-to-notice spurs that split from the main trail and climb down to swimming holes.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • One swimming hole at the top of a waterfall.- Cooper Canyon Falls
  • An ideal pool to cool off in.- Cooper Canyon Falls
Overview + Weather
Scenic hike. Several swimming holes along the hike.
Seasonal flow.
San Gabriel + San Bernardino Mountains, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
700.00 ft (213.36 m)
Parking Pass: 
California Adventure Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,440.00 ft (1,962.91 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Cooper Canyon Falls is a 25-foot waterfall tucked away in the upper canyons of the San Gabriel Mountains. Set beside the Pacific Crest Trail at the end of a 1.6-mile hike that begins in the scenic Buckhorn Campground, the main drawback of this hike may be the relatively short season where the falls have a roaring flow from winter snowmelt. Late spring is the best time to visit for the falls, though the large pool beneath remains deep enough for a dip a little later in the season.

The main things to watch for on this trail are the easy-to-miss spur trails branching off of the main path. The spur to the falls descends a short and steep hillside, navigable with a little additional help from a rope left there, to the pool area at the bottom of the falls.

During the warmer days of summer, additional spur trails within the first two-thirds of a mile from the trailhead also branch off from the main path and steeply descend the mountainside down to swimming holes perched in a picturesque canyon.

The trail to Cooper Canyon Falls drops 700 feet, so most of the work on this hike will be on the way out and back up to the trailhead.

A vault toilet and picnic bench are at the trailhead. There is no trash collection or water here. An Adventure Pass is required, and the nearest place to purchase an Adventure Pass is at Newcomb's Ranch restaurant, located 7 miles west on Highway 2.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(57 within a 30 mile radius)

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