Big Falls Trail
Near Lopez Lake, 10 miles east of Arroyo Grande
Arroyo Grande, California
Local Phone: (805) 925-9538
The 1.5-mile trail is in the Santa Lucia Wilderness portion of Los Padres National Forest. Big Falls flows year-round, plunging 80 feet into a pool that makes for a popular swimming hole come summer. Two 40-foot cascades and many smaller ones flow seasonally. The trail and the dirt-road approach to it can be muddy and treacherous after a hard rain.
Leashed dogs are welcome, but don't forget to pick up after your pet.
• From Highway 101 in Arroyo Grande, take the Highway 227 (Grand Avenue) exit and head east, following signs to Lopez Lake.
• In about 10 miles, before entering Lopez Lake Recreation Area, bear right on High Moutain Road.
• In a little less than a mile, turn left on Upper Lopez Canyon Road and travel 6.2 miles to the end of the pavement, then 3.7 miles on a dirt road to a small parking area at the trailhead.
In the rainy season, be prepared for about a dozen stream crossings along the way. High water closes the road.
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