An inviting apron of volcanic rock surrounds Deer Creek’s upper falls.
Deer Creek’s upper falls aren’t more than a 5-minute walk from CA 32, but the cascade, the creek that pools above and below, and the surrounding spread of sun-warmed rock invite a long stay. The fall itself is a punchbowl: As described on the trailhead signboard, the creek is funneled into a narrow chute and then plunges into the deep pool below. Deer Creek is a year-round stream, so even with some of the flow diverted into the adjacent fi sh ladder, the falls are always noisy and vigorous. The trail is short, leading down from the edge of the roadway for about 25 yards to a Y-junction. Go left onto the aprons of volcanic rock that surround the creek and fall; you can walk right up to the brink of the drop and look down into the bowl.
Head right to an overlook with a picture-perfect view of the fall. Either stop, bordered by forest but open to the sun, with access to the creek, its fishing opportunities, and its swimming holes, is an excellent choice for a picnic lunch or an afternoon’s rest. Retrace your steps to the parking area.
© 2015 Tracy Salcedo-Chourré/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.