Cooper Canyon Falls Out and Back
ElevationAscent: 790' 241 m
Descent: -790' -241 m
High: 6,391' 1,948 m
Low: 5,609' 1,710 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)
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“Descend into a canyon to see a popular waterfall in the high San Gabriel Mountains.”— Jason Ethridge
As the canyon gets deeper, the trail opens up and becomes steeper and rocky. Just past the one mile mark the path turns west, away from Buckhorn Creek and starts descending along Cooper Canyon to a single switchback before reaching the canyon floor. Here the surroundings turn to a mix of conifer and deciduous forest along the creek bed. Stay right at the junction with the PCT. Now comes the tricky part: finding the waterfall. If it is early spring and the flow is high, you'll probably be able to track it down by sound. If it is a summer, or weekend, afternoon you'll be able to track it down by completely different sounds (popular place).
To reach the base of the falls, continue on the PCT to where it crosses Little Rock Creek. Go west (the direction you came) down the stream on a well used path then keep left at the fork and head upstream a short distance to the falls. Do not attempt to climb down the cliff face to reach the falls as this is both dangerous and causes damage to the slope and trail above it.
If you do this run on an early weekday morning, you'll probably have the place all to yourself and enjoy a truly idyllic setting.
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Land Manager: USFS - Angeles National Forest Office