Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
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Fossil Falls is a dry waterfall containing smoothed basaltic stone formations in California's volcanic Coso Range. It is easily accessible after a short hike through exposed terrain.

Formed by a combination of volcanic and glacial activity, the falls are located in river bed that has dried as a result of water diversion from the Owens Lake Basin to the City of Los Angeles. Past lava flows from the nearby Red Hill, now a red-hued cinder cone located about a mile north of the dry falls, combined with water flow created by glacier melt in the Sierra resulted in smooth basalt stone lining these 40-foot falls. Today the formations contain stone arches and potholes created by the long-term erosion from granite swirling inside eddys.

The road to Fossil Falls requires a 1.2-mile drive down a rutted dirt road that could be handled by a two-wheel drive car. A relatively flat .23-mile out-and-back trail leads from the parking area to the top of the falls. There is also an adjacent fee-campground with space for cars located near the trailhead.

The trailhead has a vault toilet and picnic tables.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Accessible from a nearby highway. No crowds.


No shade.

Pets allowed



Geologically significant



Ive been here more times than I can count. Incredible group camping site and heavenly sunrises.
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