Find peace and quiet, clean water, and fresh air just outside the city on a 3.1-mile (round-trip) hike to a waterfall in the San Gabriels. Start on the Burkhart Trail, descending in the periodic shade of Douglas fir and Jeffrey pines. After about a mile, the trail forks—keep right, then scramble down to the left (use the 15-foot fixed rope) to the waterfall where ferns line the canyon floor.
In spring, the watery roar drifts uphill like a summons, but in late summer, the falls slow to a trickle threading down a mossy wall. Look for tiny trout in the pool below.
Trailhead Buckhorn Campground (34.3400, -117.9196) 56 miles northwest of LA Season Year-round Permit $5 daily pass; purchase at the trailhead Contact San Gabriel Mountains National Monument