Big Falls Trail
ElevationAscent: 12' 4 m
Descent: -1,029' -314 m
High: 1,840' 561 m
Low: 822' 251 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
Current trail conditions
Popular runs nearby
Bishop Peak Trail
1.7 mi 2.7 km • Point to Point • 830 ft Ascent 252.93 m Ascent
Singletrack San Luis Obispo, CA( 13 )
Johnson Ranch to Froom with Ocean Views
14.0 mi 22.6 km • Loop • 1,713 ft Ascent 522.2 m Ascent
Singletrack Avila Beach, CA( 6 )
Bluff - Rattlesnake Flats - Coon Creek Loop
7.5 mi 12.1 km • Loop • 703 ft Ascent 214.18 m Ascent
Singletrack Los Osos, CA( 4 )
Bluff - Oats Peak Loop
9.4 mi 15.2 km • Loop • 1,544 ft Ascent 470.61 m Ascent
Singletrack Los Osos, CA( 5 )
Run this trail?
Add details to help others plan their adventure.
“A backcountry trail that follows a creek and connects Hi Mountain Road and Upper Lopez Canyon Road.”— Chris Fa
The national geographic map is incorrect for this trail as it annotates the total mileage of the trail as 5.0. Hi Mountain Road from Little Falls Trail (14E03) to Big Falls Trail is 2.5 miles, and the trail itself is 2.5 miles.
Alternatively, the trail can be accessed by Upper Lopez Canyon Road. The road is only accessible to high clearance 4x4 vehicles only as there are multiple creek crossings. The trailhead is located at the terminus of the road and is co-located with the Lopez Canyon Trailhead.
This description follows the trail from the top down into Lopez Canyon. The first mile and half is in open grassland with an occasional lone oak tree. For how remote this trail feels, it is very well maintained, brush free, and easy to follow. The trail isn't perfectly buffed out, but a majority of it is rock-free and smooth. The trail then joins a creek and drops into an oak grove. The remaining 1.5 miles are in a dense, shaded oak grove. There are about eight creek crossings total, and after a storm, you'll get your feet wet at each one of them.
The best time to run this is in the late fall to late spring when the water is flowing and hills are green. It can get really hot on the exposed ridge-line during the summer, and over the course of springtime, the trail will get progressively overgrown. This is a 5 star trail during winter/early spring and a 2 star any other time.
Land Manager: USFS - Los Padres National Forest Office