Explore Hard Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Trail itself I’d consider moderate. I’d highly recommend if you want to hike, to NOT take this trail in the park. 99% of people on this trail are mountain bikers that will mow you down. So irritating every five minutes having to jump in bushes to accommodate them and even more difficult if you have a dog. If you’re a mountain biker, great trail for you. Just be considerate that people hike this and you can seriously injure them if you don’t call out your presence before hand.

Great hike if you go through the rock climbing area and make the loop around and back. The cave with fossils is closed now though.

Nice trail, hit it early! Gets pretty hot in the afternoon.

hiking
8 days ago

Great Hike. I got to the trail a bit later than expected, and the large parking lot was already pretty full. Even with all the cars, I didn't notice too many crowds until we got to the main falls. This is probably because most people just wander through the wildflowers, without following any specific trail. There is very little shade on this trail, but the abundance of wild flowers makes up for that!. There are quite a few stream crossings, and wet and muddy areas, particularly if you are just finding your own path. I went shortly after the rain and this wasn't too challenging, but might add time and distance to the hike when trying to find ideal places to cross and avoid getting wet.

The falls were beautiful, and there was a grove of trees not too far away, that were an ideal place to rest in the shade and have a picnic.

As several others have mentioned, there IS A TRAIL, but it might not be that obvious from the parking lot. I found it on the way back from the falls. As you enter the wilderness area from the parking lot, you can stay to the left and follow the ravine towards the creek. There is a fork in the trail near a grove of trees, and you want to stay to the right of the fork, and this will take you to two smaller water falls. "Phantom falls" is actually behind a barbed-wire fence. You can either go around or through the fence where the trail leads up to it. There is a clear trail on the other side of the fence that leads to the falls.

While walking off the beaten path was certainly enjoyable, I actually found the flowers and scenery to get better as we got closer to the falls. This hike is ideal for photography both close ups of the flowers, and drone photography from the air. I would only recommend this hike during spring late march early April, and shortly after the rain for ideal conditions.

9 days ago

Best place to hike in winter, spring and fall. Too hot in summer

nice place to hike during the spring when all the flowers are blooming. nice little waterfalls and streams throughout the entire area . the main waterfall is nice but it can get pretty small in summer, you can descend to the bottom of the canyon into a cave underneath the waterfall also, but it's a steep climb down and watch out for the rattle snakes

good challenging hike for the first half mile or so, and then it levels out and starts to descend towards the end of the trail. there are 4 waterfalls on the trail you can't miss them. best time to go would be in March when it is raining.

hiking
10 days ago

Beautiful wild flowers along the trails

Amazing place! So many beautiful wild flowers! Totally recommend to go there in the morning, because after 11 p.m. it was so crowded!

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful hike this time of the year due to wildflowers! I hiked to Ravine Falls, but never made it to Phantom Falls because the trail was fenced off. Maybe next time...
I hiked to Beaston Falls instead, which is not listed on AllTrails.

Great hike! Wildflowers were beautiful and the creeks and falls were flowing today. No trail markers so I used someone else’s map that hiked the trail and it was pretty easy to follow. Stay left on the creek and then make a right when it forks off and it’s a straight shot to Phantom.

Great hike with a nice of variety terrain and some decent climbs. In early April ‘18, California Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies were everywhere; in January there were California Newts.

on Phantom Falls

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked to Phantom Falls Wednesday, 2 days ago. The trail is easy to find, if right now, a little wet at the start. From the hiker gate, don't head uphill to the right, as many do, and where there really isn't a trail. Head down the cut to the left, along the stream, where you'll see the trail widen to several feet. As you approach some trees, a clear narrow trail heads of to the right. If you take it, you'll be on trail all the way to Phantom Falls. If you can, best to do this during the week, and early. We started at 8:30, saw virtually no one until heading back, and had the Falls to ourselves. Encountered a lot of people, including a couple large school groups as we walked out. This is a nice hike, lots of flowers. Next time I go, I'll do an extended loop to other falls. Just to go to Phantom Falls took 1 1/4 hours, with lots of stops for pix, and the same returning.

hiking
16 days ago

Pretty hike with Tons of wildflowers. Perfect for a spring hike. No shade at all , would be too hot in the summer. Very popular area , the parking lot overflowed down the street for miles!

great trail! If you chose to hike counterclockwise the first mile or so is definitely a straight up hike with very little level ground to recover on. Once you do reach the top of the hill it is smooth sailing from there. Today was my second time hiking it and it was a beautiful time of the year to explore up there, not too many people and I did encounter snake.

hiking
20 days ago

Flowers were amazing. got there at 9am and parking was almost full in lot. we left around 2 it looked like the county fair had moved in with all the people. so overwhelming....
so many people setting up camp near the parking lot and just chilling.
4 miles of cars along the road.
get there before 9am if you don't like crowds.

Like other reviews, there are NO trail markers !!!!
I didn’t actually find the trail till on the way back and by accident. If you follow the trail to the left from the parking lot, it meets up to the other trail that will take you to the big falls. Beautiful place to hike. Dog friendly. If it wasn’t for being rained on several times, I would’ve found the path to the bottom of Phantom Falls. Next time !!

hiking
1 month ago

It's a pretty nice trail! Did the full loop this morning. Took me 4 hours to hike the whole thing. It was pretty muddy. The trail seemed like a small creek at some parts! Be prepared to bring some good hiking shoes for this! The trail is marked out fairly well. A few of the mile markers are scratched off though. There was maybe two times thy I had to take a minute to figure out where I was going but it was fairly easy to figure out. Views are decent, nothing too crazy. But overall, a solid hike! Just wish it wasn't so muddy.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail... straight up...

hiking
1 month ago

A really tough hike that’ll get you ready for fire season.

1 month ago

I got a good sweat in and beautiful views.

1 month ago

Great hill for a workout. Very steep starting out, then rolling hills afterwards.

hiking
1 month ago

The best workout/training trail. I will usually take it to the top of the hill and turn around and do the descent on Pig Farm (easier on the knees). Get to the trailhead either early on the weekends or late in the afternoon (parking is a bitch but worth it).

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful hike. Had a great time. Wish we had brought footwear for fording, had to take off shoes a lot. I think the hard rating is probably a bit off, more of a moderate hike. There is some elevation gain, but it is on a fire road, so footing is solid and the grade is not too bad. Certainly give yourself enough time to complete, took us all afternoon due to having to change in and out of footwear frequently.

Lots of newts and wildflowers. Also saw a king snake sunning itself.

I don’t know how people say they get lost. We started the hike in the parking lot by the lone oak tree and just walked straight till we found the stream of water till we found the falls. Where there is water there will be more water = the falls. There is an easy marked trail to get down to bottom of the falls toward the end of the hike there were even families with small children going down that way. We went down the wall of rocks to make it more fun and challenging. Even my fiancé who is his first time hiking was able to complete the hike no problem

hiking
1 month ago

Different from most trails I've hiked, but I enjoyed it. Did the entire trail and loved the views.

beautiful scenery, lots of ups and downs, views of the river and meadows are gorgeous

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike...lots of different options...very beautiful views

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