Hike Name: San Antonio Falls Trail
Name of area/general location: San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Angeles National Forest
Land Acknowledgement: This trail is located in the ancestral homeland and tradition territories of the Tongva. To learn more about the original residents and stewards of the lands, visit native-land.ca
Trail rating: Easy, 285ft elevation gain over 0.7 miles
Trail mileage: 1.4 miles round trip
AllTrails Hike Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/san-antonio-falls-trail
For more information: Angeles National Forest District Ranger (626) 574-1613; Mount Baldy Visitor Center (909) 982-2829; Note, an Adventure Pass is required when parking in the Angeles National Forest; For information on how to buy an Adventure Pass, please visit Angeles National Forest – Passes and Permits.
Description of area, sights, wildlife and any key markers on the trail:
This round trip 1.4-mile trail offers a remarkable view of one of Los Angeles’ most spectacular waterfall. Undeniably, the best time to visit San Antonio Falls is in early spring when the waterfall is at its peak; however, visitors can still enjoy this trail and its incredible scenic views in other months as well.
The hike has a 285ft gain in elevation over its 0.7-mile course. Its entrance is marked by a vehicle access gate that is accessible to pedestrians and authorized vehicles only. The trail to the waterfall is mostly paved; however, there’s a short dirt path towards the end that some visitors might find challenging to navigate. Luckily, the trail offers a gorgeous scenic view of San Antonio Falls just before the trail changes, so, visitors who find dirt/rocky terrain difficult, can still enjoy a beautiful view of this 75-foot tall waterfall from a distance. Hikers eager to get closer to the waterfall should follow the dirt path down to its base. Note, there is a sharp slope at the start of the dirt pathway that can be dangerous without appropriate shoes with good tracking in order to avoid falling.
The paved trail continues up the mountain and beyond the waterfall to the mountain’s summit. At 10,064 ft, San Antonio Summit (also known as Old Mt. Baldy by some and Yoát by the Tongva) marks the highest peak in the San Gabriel Mountains Range. The summit is perfect for visitors looking for a more rigorous hike after successfully reaching San Antonio Falls; however, it’s not necessary for everyone to achieve. Alone, San Antonio Falls is a great place to recreate and enjoy nature, as well as an opportunity to visit a part of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument that was designated as such in 2014 by President Obama under the Antiquities Act.
The San Antonio Falls trail is great for beginners; however, it can be rigorous for inexperienced hikers if weather conditions are severe. Hence, it’s highly recommended that visitors carefully check the weather for high winds and snow prior to hiking this area. Finally, always be prepared for changing conditions by having the right equipment with you at all times.
Directions to the trailhead: The entrance to the trailhead is located near Manker Campground (at the interaction of Mt. Badly Rd and Falls Rd). From interstate highway 10 exit on Monte Vista Ave and travel north. Turn right onto Mt. Baldy Rd and follow the road for about 12 miles until it meets with Falls Rd. Along the way you’ll pass the Mount Baldy Visitor Center. Trailhead is clearly marked; however, can be difficult to spot depending on the weather.
Caution: Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials.