Bonita Falls in Lytle Creek: 100 Foot Waterfall Near Rancho Cucamonga

As far as waterfalls in Southern California go I have seen a lot. I think if I had to pick a favorite though, Bonita Falls would probably be it. This majestic waterfall falls over 100 feet which by Southern California standards is massive. It is a great example of the gems that are oft missed in our area and a perfect first hike for people that are not used to hiking but want to try it. Seeing a waterfall like this so close to home has helped me turn many a friend onto hiking. The one complaint I have about this waterfall is the increasing amount of graffiti that is found here each time I go back. I can’t fathom who would want to do this and if you are reading this please stop! For everyone else check out how to see it for yourself below.

Bonita Falls 10

Details

  • 2 miles round trip with about 300 feet of elevation
  • You will be walking over rocks the whole time as there is no trail
  • Must have Adventure Pass to avoid ticket

The Hike

After exiting the 15 freeway at Sierra Ave you will proceed under the freeway and onto Lytle Creek Road. Continue on this road for about 5 miles until you see the below turn off. There is not much in the way of signs or anything so you will need to watch for this and if you hit the main town then you went to far.

Bonita Falls Parking area

Let me preface this by saying this hike is easy to get lost on if you do not know the way. It is an easy 1 mile each way but you must follow the instructions in order to find it and if you are worried about getting there check out some other blogs as well.

Bonita Falls 2

The hike begins with a small river crossing. There should be multiple ways to get across without getting wet but make sure to be careful.

Bonita Falls 4

From here the hike dumps you into the rock wash that you will be walking on the entire way. For directions to get to the falls I would just say keep left. The waterfall will be on a small trail on the left that you shouldn’t miss as long as you stay on that side.

Bonita Falls 6

After about 3/4ths of a mile you should see a small path heading up the left side of the mountain with lots of green trees and even a graffiti arrow.

Bonita Falls 7

This path will take you up into the incline and towards the water. You should see this sign as you proceed up as well.

Bonita Falls 9

Continue walking about a tenth of a mile and you should hear the water and see the first glimpse of the falls.

Bonita Falls 17

From here you can just continue to push up to the base of the falls and explore. Notice how big they are compared to the lady in the above picture. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the falls.

Bonita Falls 12

Bonita Falls 14

Bonita Falls 13

The water at the base of the falls is probably only a foot or two deep so you will not be doing much swimming, but when we went in 2013 the water was flowing pretty good so in the spring I would expect the falls to look awesome.

Bonita Falls 19

You can continue to climb above the falls I am told but I have not done it and cannot comment on it being safe or not. The base of the falls are an amazing place to take your family and enjoy a snack in this beautiful area. That being said it gets more and more destroyed each time I am there so make sure if you are checking it out to do your part to pack out your trash or even pick up the trash left by others. This is a beautiful place to hike to and one that we should continue to keep clean.

Bonita Falls 15

From there you simply head back out the way you came. If you have been to this waterfall I would love to hear about it in the comments and make sure to check out the pictures and get directions for yourself below.

Photo Gallery

 

Get Directions

 

 

Interested in supporting this blog?

This blog is simply a hobby and labor of love for me. If you have enjoyed the posts consider sharing it with your friends. I want as many people as possible to explore this state and you can help by letting them know about all of the great spots!

Subscribe to the mailing list for a weekly posts recap!

About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.

  • KTS2

    Please remove this, we do not want more trashy people at our beautiful spot.

    • Thanks for the comment and I agree it is sad to see people disrespect areas like this. I do want everyone to be able to experience the awesome things that are outside their backdoor though and I would hope the people reading this blog would not be the ones to mess up the area but to even pick up a piece of trash and help to clean it up.

      • KTS2

        I don’t mean to be harsh, it’s a great article and worked great for me, it’s been a year since I’ve been there and your article helped refresh me, I’m just so tired of seeing people trash our most beautiful landmarks, if I see kids spray painting or leaving trash I always say something, I hope everyone else will also. We need to stop being so passive or they will destroy it.

        • I couldn’t agree more, it is so sad that so few mess it up for so many. I always make it a point to talk to people and to try and do my share to take out trash as well. Such a bummer to find a cool spot and see it riddled with trash and graffiti.

  • chey

    Is it too much of a hike to bring your dog?

    • The hike is not very hard but it is over big rocks the entire time so it might be dangerous for dogs.

  • danielle torkelsen

    thanks for the info!

  • Kate Bueno

    I’m a cancer patient & a friend of mine is wanting to do a photo shoot and I was wondering how well this spot would be do something like that? And where can you purchase the pass at and how much? This blog was pretty helpful the pictures are beautiful! Thanks for the information.