Featured in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
San Antonio Falls
- Location: Angeles National Forest near Mt. Baldy. From Interstate 210, take the Mountain Avenue exit and follow Mountain Avenue 4.3 miles (its name changes to Shinn en route) to its end at Mt. Baldy Road. Turn right and drive 9 miles to San Antonio Falls Road (on the left, 0.3 miles past the Manker Flats campground). A National Forest Service adventure pass ($5 per day or $30 per year) is required. Click here to purchase.
- Agency: Angeles National Forest, San Gabriel River District
- Distance: 1.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 250 feet
- Suggested time: 45 minutes
- Difficulty: G
- Best season: All year
- USGS topo map: “Mt. San Antonio”
- Recommended gear: bug spray
- More information: Yelp page here; trip descriptions here, here and here; video of the waterfall (June 2015) here
- Rating: 6
Fed by 4,000 vertical feet of runoff from Mt. Baldy, San Antonio Falls is one of So Cal’s tallest and most easily accessible year-round waterfalls. For many, it’s merely a stop on the way to Mt. Baldy, but for those who only have time for a short hike, it is an enjoyable destination in its own right. At more than 6,000 feet above sea level, it provides a perfect escape from summer heat in the Inland Empire. The hike is short enough that even those sensitive to altitude shouldn’t have a problem and while there may be snow during the winter, most of the route is on a paved service road, so weather is not likely to present a hazard.
From Manker Flats, follow the road uphill for 0.6 miles, taking in a few views down San Antonio Canyon on the way. You pass by a few driveways of private homes and under the shade of some tall pines before arriving at a sharp bend where the road continues toward Baldy Notch. Here, a use trail leads down to the base of San Antonio Falls, whose three tiers add up to an impressive 80 feet. Sadly, the waterfall’s easy access has led to trash and graffiti, although not as bad as Sapphire Falls or Bonita Falls. While some people just can’t have nice things, I can safely assume that readers of this blog will set a good example for other hikers and give this natural attraction the respect it deserves.
Text and photography copyright 2015 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.