Cooper Falls (Upper and Lower)


Upper Cooper Falls is a spring fed “twin” falls with a beautiful reflection pool at their feet.  It is about 25 feet high.


Lower Cooper Falls is a 30’ high perennial “free-fall” that lands in the Chama River.



the real waterfall cowboy whips out his handy dandy umbrella while canoeing on the Chama River under Lower Cooper Falls  …mark blakemore photos


beta facts:

name- Cooper Falls …both an upper and a lower.

height- upper is 25’ and the lower is about 30’

elevation- 6800’

GPS coordinates- 3635.305N 10643.750’W

flow- spring fed… probably enhanced when El Vado Reservoir is full.

season- anytime but late May or early June is best.

accommodations- El Vado Ranch has… cabins and camping… a small store and parking.

ownership- Cooper Falls are on public land owned by the state of New Mexico

access- mile hike north from El Vado Ranch

nearest town- Tierra Amarilla is 15 miles east of here.

fun fact- this is a very pleasant and secluded hike.



essay bro:


We enjoy staying at my old friend Dave Cooper’s Guest Ranch.  It’s called El Vado Ranch.  Three or maybe even four generations of Coopers have called this beautiful place home.  Cooper Arroyo and Cooper Falls are named after Dave’s dad Carl Cooper.  My favorite way to hike into the waterfalls is to cross Dave’s footbridge and head upstream.  If the Chama River is too high to walk on the riverbank then stay on higher ground up against the sheer cliff above you.

These falls can also be reached from the north side, which is all State Parks - public land.  See the map below.


Enhanced National Geographic 7.5’ topo map

one mile = approximately 3 inches



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