500ft Big Falls: Largest Waterfall in SoCal

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0.7 Miles


~30 Min




All Year

Elevation Gain

112 Ft

Most of the waterfalls in SoCal are dead dry in the middle of the summer. Well, not Big Falls Trail! These colossal, multi-tiered falls are flowing pretty much all year-round.

Big Falls Trail is an easy 0.7 hike that features a multi-tiered waterfall located in Forest Falls, California. This trail is in the San Bernardino National Forest and has an elevation gain of about 112 feet. Parking at Big Falls is both paid and free.


Map of Big Falls Trail

 Download Printable PDF Map


How to Get to Big Falls Trail

  • Directions: Big Falls Trail, California 92339
  • Parking Information: There is free and paid parking at Big Falls. Free parking is located on the left parking lot. You can purchase a recreation day pass at the kiosk or at Elk General Store if you’re parking on the right lot.
  • Restrooms: Restrooms are located near the parking lot in the Falls picnic area.


Check out these other fun hikes in San Bernardino County!


The Adventure

The hike to the falls is really short, but the beginning part of the trail is a bit confusing since it’s not very clear where the trail is.

From here, I just went straight.

I eventually reached this slightly wet and rocky section and crossed through! Thankfully, I had my Merrell waterproof shoes on.

A short moment after, I arrived at the first small waterfall!

To the right side, there is a dirt path that leads up to the other falls.

Here’s one of the other falls and pool from above!

While I was walking back on the trail, I could see the very top tier.

(We did not reach the top part because it seems impossible, but our drone did!)

We then reached the last waterfall tier we could get to.

They all have their glistening clear pools that made me want to jump right in!

I couldn’t believe how much water these falls had considering I came in the middle of summer!

This last part is very difficult to reach unless you are a skilled propeller. Luckily, our drone was able to get some amazing views of the top waterfalls!

This waterfall has multiple tiers that cascade down the mountain (probably over 10!).

It’s about a 500-feet from top to bottom of Big Falls trail.


I absolutely loved this trail near Big Bear. It’s a perfect summer hike if you want to keep cool.

Not only was the weather less than 75 degrees in the middle of August, but the water flow was pretty nice as well!

I hope you stop by Big Falls Trail. Let us know how you liked it by tagging us on IG: @cahikingadventures!

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Hello, There!

I’m Phillip, and just like you, I feel very passionate about California and the outdoors. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, I thought I’d share them with you. Life goes by fast so get out there and enjoy it.  

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