One of my favorite things to hike to are waterfalls. There are a pretty easy concept when you think about it; water falls from a cliff and there you have a waterfall.. but something about them makes them simply breathtaking. I’ve had the privilege to see/hike to a lot of Northern California waterfalls and I wanted to share my favorites as well as those that are on my list. If you have any suggestions that I should check out, please comment below. I’d love to learn about new places to explore!
- Alamere Falls – A waterfall that lands on a beach. What more could you want? This 8-mile round trip hike is well worth it once you get to the end. The road leading up to the path is windy and usually foggy and I suggest getting there early to avoid the crowds.
- Feather Falls – This is one of my first waterfall experiences. My family and I hiked this trail when I was a young and I’ve loved it ever since. Having gone to college in Chico, this waterfall was relatively close and I’ve hiked it at least half a dozen times. It’s about a 9-mile hike round trip and gets pretty difficult but you can hike all the way to the top of the waterfall. There are warning signs about falling so definitely be careful once we reach the top.
- Mossbrae Falls – Let me first start with a disclaimer about this waterfall: YOU WILL BE TRESPASSING so adventure at your own risk. The reason you’ll be trespassing is because you have to hike along a railroad for about 1 mile in order to reach the falls.
- Burney Falls – One of the most impressive waterfalls I’ve seen to date is Burney Falls in McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. There is an $8 entrance fee and a short 1/4 mile walk to the falls but they are definitely breathtaking and worth the fee. There sheer power and the roar of the water is amazing. It’s usually pretty crowded on the weekend since it’s a short hike (if you can even call it a hike) to the waterfall so plan accordingly.
- Phantom Falls – Another waterfall close to Chico that I unfortunately found out about after I left Chico is Phantom Falls. Their name is given to them because the falls disappear during the drying seasons of the year and is only visible after heavy rains in Fall or Spring. This waterfall has been on my list for awhile; however, I’m waiting for the phantom to appear again. 😉 Photo by: @silviabaezaphotography
- McCloud Falls – On my way between Mossbrae Falls and Burney Falls, I stopped to see McCloud Falls. There are actually 3 falls here: Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. There are also some hiking trails you can use to get a closer look and it’s a great place to spend the day by the water.
- Maple Falls – If you’re in Santa Cruz, be sure to check out Maple Falls. It’s ~8 miles round trip and fairly lightly trafficked. At least when I went, there weren’t many hikers, but that could also be because it was the beginning of January. It was a pretty muddy trail at that time of year but nothing too bad. The trail gets a little hard to further about 7 miles in and there was a couple who turned back too soon, but keep on trudging forward and you’ll find a waterfall with a tree trunk sticking out.
- Berry Creek Falls – Another one for the bucket list! This waterfall is listed as hard and 9-13 miles round trip. I haven’t had the chance to hike this one yet since it is a little further from Sacramento than the others, but the pictures make it look AMAZING. I can’t wait to cross this one off the list! Photo to come but in the meantime check out the Google pics!
Thanks for checking out my favorite waterfalls in Northern California! I hope to add more to this list and write a blog about other waterfalls not located in California.
It’s a waterfall life and I’m just living it! 😉