Lake Lopez Cliff Jumping: Big Falls, Little Falls

It was a good thing I didn’t try to take my Corolla on this adventure – she would have sank for sure (or at the very least messed up another tire).

That was probably the most magical thing about the Big Falls/Little Falls hike – the ridiculous remoteness of the trails. You have to cross over a dozen streams to get there (and it’s about a 9-mile drive from the lake, so you’re not walking).

Hopefully you own (or have a friend who owns) a truck or SUV – preferably a pickup truck so you can hop in the back and take in the views on the drive, feel the wind in your hair, put your hands on the roof of the truck – all that good stuff.

The road dead-ends into the trail head, but not before you cross the streams and drive past the local houses (which have a lot of character and are essentially self-sustaining… it must take at least an hour to drive to the store). The trail is easy to follow and people are friendly about giving directions.

Once you begin the hike towards Big Falls (which was not flowing when we went in mid-August), you’ll pass Little Falls and it’s accompanying pools. This is the spot you want to be if you like cliff jumping, and if you like watching others put their bodies at risk.

In all seriousness, it’s a really cool spot to hang out. Lots of people bring out beer and sit on the rocks and swim in the water. There are small jumps that are fun and safe, and then there are the larger ones. Inevitably, crazy things start happening once enough people show up – they get a little booze in them and then the mob-mentality type of encouragement starts to flow.

It’s all fun, but honestly, some of the jumps are very sketchy and have small landing areas, so please keep in mind how long it would take for help to reach you and your friends (if you can even find cell phone service).

You don’t want to be there and see your friend crush his face on a rock – I can promise you that.

That said, it’s definitely worth a visit in the coming weekends, or in the late winter/early spring when the falls are flowing at full force (although sometimes the road floods during this time, making it even more difficult to access).

FYI the water is really cold. It took my breath away when I first jumped in. Make sure you have a good sweat going when you arrive.

Here’s all you need to know to get there, and here’s a glimpse of what I’m talking about (forewarning: real-life language is used in the videos):

Yours Truly!

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