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Discover melodious Cooper Canyon Falls in a secluded canyon near the Angeles Crest Highway.

Cooper Canyon Falls roars with the melting snows of each spring season, then settles down to a quiet whisper by summer. This year's near-normal but unusually late rainfall and snowfall in the San Gabriel Mountains means that you can cool off in the spray of the 25-foot cascade through July at least. These falls are one of the best unheralded attractions along the Angeles Crest.

The Burkhart Trail takes you quickly to the falls, downhill all the way (an 800-foot drop in elevation), and then uphill all the way back. The forest traversed by the trail is dense enough to give plenty of cool shade for most of the unrelenting climb back up.

From Interstate 210 in La Cañada, drive 34 miles up Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) to the Buckhorn Campground entrance road -- at mile 58.3, according to the roadside mile-markers. Drive all the way through the campground to the far (northeast) end, where a short stub of dirt road leads to the Burkhart trailhead. You must display a National Adventure Pass on your parked car there.

The trail takes off down the west wall of an unnamed, usually wet canyon garnished by two waterfalls. The first -- a little gem of a cascade dropping ten feet into a rock grotto -- is easy to reach by descending from the trailside. The second, some 30 feet high, is dangerous to approach from above, but is reachable from below by scrambling up the canyon bottom from Cooper Canyon.

At 1.2 miles, the trail bends east to follow Cooper Canyon's south bank. Continue another 0.3 mile, down past the junction of the trail (Pacific Crest Trail) that doubles back to follow the north bank upstream. Look or listen for water plunging over the rocky declivity to the left. A rough pathway leads down off the trail to the alder-fringed pool below.

Soak your feet in the shallow pool, or get right under the spray of water itself, which is likely to be icy cold until later this summer.

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Cooper Canyon Falls roars with the melting snows of each spring season, then settles down to a quiet whisper by summer. This year's near-normal but unusually late rainfall and snowfall in the San Gabriel Mountains means that you can cool off in the spray of the 25-foot cascade through July at least. These falls are one of the best unheralded attractions along the Angeles Crest.

The Burkhart Trail takes you quickly to the falls, downhill all the way (an 800-foot drop in elevation), and then uphill all the way back. The forest traversed by the trail is dense enough to give plenty of cool shade for most of the unrelenting climb back up.

From Interstate 210 in La Cañada, drive 34 miles up Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) to the Buckhorn Campground entrance road -- at mile 58.3, according to the roadside mile-markers. Drive all the way through the campground to the far (northeast) end, where a short stub of dirt road leads to the Burkhart trailhead. You must display a National Adventure Pass on your parked car there.

The trail takes off down the west wall of an unnamed, usually wet canyon garnished by two waterfalls. The first -- a little gem of a cascade dropping ten feet into a rock grotto -- is easy to reach by descending from the trailside. The second, some 30 feet high, is dangerous to approach from above, but is reachable from below by scrambling up the canyon bottom from Cooper Canyon.

At 1.2 miles, the trail bends east to follow Cooper Canyon's south bank. Continue another 0.3 mile, down past the junction of the trail (Pacific Crest Trail) that doubles back to follow the north bank upstream. Look or listen for water plunging over the rocky declivity to the left. A rough pathway leads down off the trail to the alder-fringed pool below.

Soak your feet in the shallow pool, or get right under the spray of water itself, which is likely to be icy cold until later this summer.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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