We returned to the Burkhart Trail, in the Angeles National Forest, in search of Cooper Canyon Falls. We were here in December, winter, and never found the Falls. We had a great but freezing hike back then but I knew I would eventually return to find the falls.
No snow or ice this time but strong winds still made for a chilly hike. A good reminder to always dress in layers. Southern California weather is fairly unpredictable, though primarily mild. Haha.
The trail head is located at the back of the Buckhorn Campground. There are restrooms with vault toilets conveniently located throughout, as well as at the day use parking area for the trail head.
This trail is NOT stroller friendly. It varies between areas of full sun and shade. The trail is up and down but mainly declines on your way in.
Right now, the environment is very green and creeks are flowing nicely. The trail is primarily dirt, gravel-y and rocky at times.
You will keep company with stunning trees and amazing vistas along the way. The hike takes about an hour to the Falls and this was at a hurry-up-I'm-freezing pace.
Kids will enjoy jumping rocks or balancing over a fallen log to cross the creek. Also, the final descent to the falls is a mini-adventure in itself.
The Falls are easy to miss. They do not appear like much from the top, where you'll be on the trail. Getting to the Falls requires descending a rocky slope. There is a rope closer to the bottom but it is not visible from up on the trail. Keep in mind the trail does not lead you TO the Falls, but *past* it, as it heads through the canyon and even connects to the Pacific Crest Trail.
In the picture below, you can see my kids pointing the way down to the Falls. The best access seems to be at this small, steel, retaining beam. Climb down with caution, of course. A smaller child would probably need help navigating their way down.
This is definitely a nice hike. The Falls are beautiful. We had it all to ourselves today. The ktbunch rated it on the higher end of the adventure scale due to the climb down to it.
The hike back will mostly be uphill in spots you hadn't realized you were going down. Always be prepared while hiking; bring water, rope, first aid kit etc. Chances are you will always be safe...but why risk it? Haha.
What else can you do? :P