Waterfall Loverand39;s Guide Northern California  by Matt & Krissi Danielsson

Waterfall Lover's Guide: Northern California Guide Book

by Matt & Krissi Danielsson (The Mountaineers Books)
Waterfall Loverand39;s Guide Northern California  by Matt & Krissi Danielsson
Enjoy more than 300 waterfalls in Northern California - by car, on foot, or by canoe and raft. Looking for prime waterfall drive-by views? Feeling like a short stroll or longer hike to bask in the spray? Or are you looking for a beautiful backdrop for a family picnic? Waterfall Lover's Guide: Northern California will tell you where to find the falls that fit the occasion. There are falls that can be seen right from the road, cast a rainbow from their base, pour directly into the Pacific Ocean, or spin wheels of water along their flow. To help you select, each waterfall is keyed for accessibility by car, on foot, or by canoe and raft.

© 2006 Matt and Krissi Danielsson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Waterfall Lover's Guide: Northern California" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 100.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 100.

At just 805 acres, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is more of a grove than a forest or full-size park. Still, it is a nice but little-known refuge from civilization where you can enjoy ancient 300-foot trees and several easy-to-strenuous hikes without driving too far. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.
Healdsburg, CA - Hiking - Trail Length:
Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA) sits east of I-80 just northeast of Sacramento. Do not expect solitude—Auburn SRA receives more than half a million visitors each year. The good news is that this 35,000-acre park covers 40 miles of the North and Middle Forks of the American River. Expect to see a lot of whitewater enthusiasts here, as more than thirty whitewater outfitters are licensed to operate on the class II, III, and IV runs in the park. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: American Canyon Falls, Knickerbocker Falls, Lake Clementine Falls, Paradise Canyon Falls and Codfish Falls.
Auburn, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
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If you have not visited Big Basin before, you are in for a treat! This park is home to some of the most impressive redwood trees in the world. Almost every tree here is huge, making for a humbling experience as you walk through the forest. If you hit the trails early in the morning, when the fog still blankets the forest, the experience gets downright surreal! Big Basin also holds the distinction of being the state’s oldest state park, established in 1902, covering over 18,000 acres. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Berry Creek Falls, Silver Falls, Golden Cascade, and Sempervirens Falls.
Santa Cruz, CA - Backpacking,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 37
Big Pine, located at the intersection of Highway 395 and 168, was not always this dry. The area used to be a rich agricultural center until the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power started siphoning off water around the turn of the last century. This led to the slow but steady transformation into the arid semidesert you see today, explaining the seemingly bizarre irrigation canals scattered around the town. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: First Falls and Second Falls.
Big Pine, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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The town of Bishop is in relatively dry Owens Valley some 4100 feet above sea level at the intersection of Highways 395, 16 and 168. Unlike most towns in this region, Bishop Creek, as it was originally named, started out as a cattle market rather than a gold mining operation. Recognizing the need for fresh meat in the surrounding mining towns, the cattlemen of Bishop did brisk business. The original Bishop family was among the first to settle in the area with some 600 head of cattle in 1861, but the family eventually moved on. The town, however, continued to grow and prosper despite bloody skirmishes with natives that continued for decades. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: North Lake Falls, Bishop Creek Falls, Goldmine Falls, Schoebers Falls, and South Fork of Bishop Creek Falls.
Bishop, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The Carson-Iceberg Wilderness covers about 160,000 acres within Humboldt-Toiyabe and Stanislaus National Forests. The wilderness borders both Highways 4 and 108 some distance northwest of Yosemite National Park. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Llewellyn Falls and Carson Falls.
Markleeville, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 30
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This 4350-acre park got its name from the spectacular, jagged edge of glacierpolished crags towering some 6000 feet above sea level. The crags are easily spotted from I-5. In addition to the waterfalls, the crags also offer a chance to dream of more materialistic enrichment. Back in wilder days, bandits hit the jackpot when they robbed a stagecoach carrying a huge gold load. They hid the treasure someplace around Castle Crags but were never able to recover it—leaving the bounty up for grabs. Feeling lucky? Grab some digging gear and see if you can outsmart the others who also figured a few drops of sweat was a worthy bet in the gamble for riches. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Burstarse Falls and Sweetbriar Falls.
Dunsmuir, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
Expect to encounter rock climbers here. Castle Rock State Park is full of steep surfaces just begging to have someone climb up or rappel down, and plenty of people from San Francisco and the peninsula are ready to step up to the challenge. If you decide to continue past the waterfall to the actual Castle Rock, you will have opportunities to study some very odd-looking stone formations and caves along the way. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Castle Rock Falls.
Palo Alto, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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Colfax is a genuine railroad town. It was the western end of the transcontinental railroad, making it the Gateway to the High Sierras. It remains a key stop for Amtrak to this day, and the Chamber of Commerce suitably resides in a vintage Southern Pacific railcar just across from the train station. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Devils Falls, Mexican Gulch Falls, Indian Creek Falls, and Stevens Creek Falls.
Colfax, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Devils Postpile National Monument is a beautiful alpine recreation area near Mammoth Falls. It was established in 1911 by presidential proclamation in an effort to preserve the postpile, Rainbow Falls, and the other parts of this small but truly unique part of the Eastern Sierras. While the waterfalls of Devils Postpile National Monument offer stiff competition, the postpile itself steals the show by merit of its sheer uniqueness. Fortunately, the longer hike to Rainbow Falls will take you right by the postpile with its 60-foot tall, symmetrical columns. The postpile originated in an eruption of basalt lava that filled the area less than 100,000 years ago. As the lava cooled, it started to crack. With the help of unusual environmental conditions, the postpile we see today was shaped. Fast-forward to about 10,000 years ago: a glacier swept away a lot of the fractured pieces, polished and exposed the columns. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Rainbow Falls, Lower Falls, Minaret Falls, and Sotcher Lake Falls.
Mammoth Lakes, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
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Take a good look around as you enter Downieville. Now imagine the State Capitol building looming tall on Main Street. An impossible thought? Hardly. Downieville was once in the running for the state capital seat, back in the heady gold rush days when the town was bustling with over 5000 people and a seemingly endless stream of gold was pouring out of the hillsides. As it turned out, Sacramento beat Downieville to the punch, but it makes an interesting “what if” topic to discuss if you decide to stop for lunch on your way through. For those interested in the less happy aspects of gold rush history, Downieville was one of the few places in the west—possibly the only one in California—where a woman was tried and executed for her crimes. The gallows, not used since 1885, still stand outside the courthouse. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Pauley Creek Falls.
Downieville, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
In 1886 a rich Canadian named Alexander Dunsmuir offered the town of Pusher a deal: he would build a water fountain if the town changed its name to “Dunsmuir.” The townsfolk agreed, the name stuck, and you can still see the fountain in the town park. Speaking of water, Dunsmuir prides itself on having the cleanest water in the world. The water starts as snow on Mount Shasta and trickles through the layers of lava rocks for over 500 years before it reaches its Dunsmuir outlets, which include both Hedge Creek and Mossbrae Falls. The water is so clean no treatment whatsoever is required. You can give it a taste test of your own on your way down to Hedge Creek Falls; you pass right by the famous fountain. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Mossbrae Falls and Hedge Creek Falls.
Dunsmuir, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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Edgewood Park is a small park in Redwood City on the San Francisco peninsula. It covers just 467 acres but provides a welcome sanctuary for locals and passers-through. The biggest draw aside from easy access is spectacular wildflowers that cover these hillsides in spring. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Sylvan Trail Falls.
Redwood City, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Looking at a map of Yosemite National Park, you will notice a strange, narrow block of parkland stretching out several miles west beyond the regular park border. This block covers both sides of Highway 140—but not much else. That is where you find the tiny town of El Portal, neatly tucked away within park boundaries. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Chinquapin Falls.
El Portal, CA - Hiking - Trail Length:
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Emigrant Gap is a tiny community right off I-80 between Sacramento and Truckee, about two-thirds of the way from Sacramento. Once you leave the highway, it won’t take more than five minutes until pristine forests and rugged mountains surround you. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Bear River Falls, Bowman Lake Falls, and Faucherie Lake Falls.
Soda Springs, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
In 1920, a team of daring developers embarked on a publicly ridiculed effort to build a powerhouse in the middle of the Californian wilderness. It took two years and thousands of workers to complete the project. But by the end, the team could triumphantly present a groundbreaking powerhouse with enormous capacity, for the times, that shipped power over 200 miles. As a bonus, the town of Fall River Mills was firmly established. Don’t miss the Pit One Powerhouse. Built like a castle, complete with turrets, the powerhouse looks decidedly out of place in the Californian wilderness. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Pit River Falls.
Adin, CA - Hiking - Trail Length:
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Fish Camp, located a few miles south of Yosemite National Park along Highway 41, is a small town with a genuine, rustic feel to it. The area, which includes Oakhurst and surrounding towns, has a rich native heritage from the Mono Indian culture that populated these parts. Some 600 Mono and Mi Wok Indians still live in the area, and you can get a better idea of its rich history by stopping by the Sierra Mono Museum in North Fork. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Fish Camp Falls and Big Creek Falls.
Oakhurst, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
From 1883 until 1923, extremely heavy logging ravaged this area. Leaving barely a single tree standing, the loggers eventually moved on to new forests and the land was later donated to the state in 1963. Fortunately, the forest has proven remarkably resilient and park management now calls it a “monument to forest regeneration.” Indeed, you can still see the ugly scars of overzealous logging, but it is also reassuring to see how well the forest has rebounded. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Five Finger Falls and Maple Falls.
Santa Cruz, CA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 25
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The small town of Foresta is just northeast of El Portal on the western edge of the park. It is one of the few regions with privately owned property in Yosemite National Park. Unlike the larger Wawona, Foresta is more of a cluster of houses in the woods than anything else. A severe fire ravaged the area in 1990, which burned some 90 percent of the trees and destroyed property. Today, you can still see the remnants of fire, although the lush green foliage is slowly reconquering the landscape. The town is located some distance into the woods between Highways 120 and 140; you do not have to go on hour-long detours to avoid the crowds. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Foresta Falls.
El Portal, CA - Hiking - Trail Length:
Foresthill is nice, but the rough 17-mile drive to town used to be a ding against going there for day hikes. Fortunately, that is no longer the case as the road was improved in the 1990s. This trail guide contains descriptions of the following trails: Grouse Falls.
Foresthill, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
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