This is a beautiful hike, with the reward of one spectacular waterfall along the way and another one at the end. It is harder than it looks on paper. Our GPS showed that it was 8.25 miles from the Rancheria Falls campsite to the trailhead parking, and it is another half mile or so to the bridge at the top of the falls. There are some long, steep, sunny patches after you pass Wapama Falls. In summer plan to start early and get off the trail during the heat of the day. There is water for pumping at Wapama Falls, Tiltill Creek, and Rancheria Falls. We filtered the water at Rancheria and it is the sweetest, coolest water that I have ever tasted anywhere. Our group included some 11-year old boys who are experienced backpackers, and they suffered a bit but completed the hike with full packs. I would not recommend trying to day-hike this unless you are quite fit.
The trailhead backpackers campground is nice ($5 per person self-registration). The campground at the falls is nice and shady (unlike most of the trail in), and we slept well with the background music of the falls. There are fire rings, and the ranger said that they have not had bear reports there in a couple of years, but they are serious about making sure that people do not tempt the bears to come back. On Saturday afternoon the rangers stopped by to reinforce that message, so make sure that you have a bear canister. Do bring insect repellent as the mosquitoes are hungry. There were three other groups there, but it is a large area with lots of big trees and we didn’t feel crowded.
Swimming is not allowed within 1 miles of the reservoir, so you are supposed to go above the bridge at the top of the falls. At the end of June the water was still too swift to swim, but wading was fun.