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We only did the first 1.5 and it was very steep. Bring water for you and your pets! No views in that section of the trail.

hiking
4 days ago

this trail is beautiful and challenging

nice trail along the lake shore, if just go as far as the creek and back, it's an easy 5 mi hike, but you can take it much farther if you want, but if you do, bring a GPS and don't rely on the signs

I've done this hike twice in the last few years and the one thing I hate is that hike it a tad bit longer then main article here indicates. From top to bottom, this is at least 5 mile each way hike. The first I attempted it, I did it too late in the day and made it up about 4/5th of the way, but turned around as I was running out of water and light (no flashlight on me). The second time around I left early in the day and made it up in the early mid afternoon. The views are some of the very best. On the downside, their were I think 3-4 fires going on in that region so the views were also kind of spoiled too by a bit of haze. Oh well. Maybe next time?

Uphill hike all the way to the tower but sooo worth it for the views. It was extremely windy, and that made the shaded areas chilly. My dog did great on the hike up but once we hit the stairs to the tower, I felt is was extremely unsafe for her. We made it up to the third set of stairs with me white knuckling my grip on her harness before I had a bit of anxiety at the sketchiness of the stairs and then decided to carry her back down. The stairs are somewhat wide gapped with absolutely no protection around the side rails and it is a sheer drop down. My friend ended up staying with my pup so I could make it to the top by myself. And I did, but with shaky knees to be honest. If you’re afraid of heights, skip the tower itself. But the view from the tower itself is breathtaking !!!!!

mountain biking
10 days ago

Great trail for intermediate mountain biking. A few tough spots but well worth the ride to Berry Creek falls. Saw plenty of friendly hikers and a few other bikers.

Very beautiful. We did this hike on 4/13/2018, Parking lot to Hollow falls, then across to Ravine falls, the Phantom falls then down to the pools about 1/2 mile past phantom in Flag Canyon.
The flowers were out in full bloom and it was beautiful. I returned to view again on 4/19/2018.
For Drone video of Phantom Falls and Fly over to Flag Falls go to this link.

https://youtu.be/O3mOB5dVnFE

Great hike: shaded, redwoods and a little incline. About 1 hour 20 minute hike.

Hike was better than I expected. Even though it is not a rain season, still pretty good waterfalls. Curiously my GPS showed roundtrip to be just under 15 miles. Not sure how to account for discrepancy.

Some pictures:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsmsFqQSk

We did this on october 27. The views are absolutely briliant. Very hard towards the peak. Steep and a lot of stairs. The beauty of all of the hike is breathtaking. Took us 8 hours. :) we went up the fern trail and oh boy was it hard. Like super hard.

Fun little loop to run

A nice trail going thru different temparature zones and resulting ecosystem. if its the rainforest like feel in the deep ravine trail, its the virtual hard rubble brush in the upper fern creek trail. Would rate it as an easy to moderate depending upon the hiking level. we are an east bay based hiking group and have trained on the mt. diablo for longer hikes. comparitively this is mellow and not much challenges . the only difference was the length which makes it seem tougher. The climd upto panatoll staging area is very scenic and lively. beyond depending upon the path you take - old grade road or matt davis trail to upper fern creek - it can be easy or tough. we took the fire road and it turned out to be an easy hike, except for the sun which was out hot and bright,. the view from the top is amazing and worth the hike. on the way back took the rock scamble behind the lookout and then the fern creek trail. it was a good downward trail, well maintained. the trail from panatoll to the beach thru matt davis travis is mostly smooth except for the switchbacks which caused the max strain. overall a good long hike.

backpacking
23 days ago

My friends and I did this hike this week. It was amazing. Got it done in about 2.5 hours (1 way) not pushing it too hard.

hiking
24 days ago

Need better trail markings. I bathrooms, but porta potties.

mountain biking
27 days ago

Beautiful single track. I am not an experienced mountain biker but enjoyed the ride. A few spots are very narrow with a steep hill facing down but I managed.

amazing hike...the views from the tower are just beautiful. steady climb to get there but not to bad. i would say depending on your dog whether it would be comfortable for them or not up the stairs. mine made it fine but i held her harness to help her. this has to be my favorite hike for the views alone. can't wait to do it again.

Resumed hiking after 2 years with this one. We also followed counter clockwise. About 4 hours we completed with few stops. It was difficult but I was able to complete. falls, birds, redwoods and you will enjoy.

great hike!

It is a difficult trail coming out but the rewards of the swimming holes at the bottom are worth it!
Just take a lot of water with you and I don’t recommend doing in high temps and much of the trail is uncovered.

backpacking
1 month ago

Went backpacking down this trail this past weekend. It was mostly in the shade and when we started it was around 60 degrees (10/6/2018). The hike down is downhill the entire way...which means the hike up is uphill the entire way (keep in mind if you are backpacking). We made it down to the river but couldn't find the trail the leads across the river. We decided to camp at one of the primitive campsites near the river and head back up the next morning. During the summertime I could imagine this part of the river would be excellent to swim in. Deep clear water (we did not see/catch any fish).

PS. To get to the trailhead follow directions to Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park (on their website) Google maps will try to lead you down a gravel road that has a lot of holes/bumps. Once you go through North Bloomfield you will see signs for the trailhead. It is located down a pretty rough gravel road so if you don't think you can make it, park before the bad part of the road and walk in (probably .2 to get to the trailhead if you cant make it past the rough part)

Beautiful vistas, especially from the top of the fire tower! A steady climb the whole way up, but not horrible. We even had a very light snow shower on the way back down. One of my new favorite hikes!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

A bit tough. I’d take everyone’s advice and do counterclockwise, we unfortunately did the opposite per the rangers suggestion and we only saw one other couple doing it this way. Much easier doing it counterclockwise and I know why now. Beautiful place and waterfalls are amazing to see.

Beautiful hike. Wouldn’t recommend bringing big dogs, the stairs are pretty sketchy for them to get up. Uphill the whole way but it goes by quick. Great views.

great challenging hike with great views.

Views were excellent, take it counter clockwise for a calm downhill section to an incline and then another downhill. Through the shade and at the end is a picnic ground, did not partake as another party had occupied the area plan to next time. 1 hour 20 minutes perfect mid day hike

hiking
1 month ago

There are mountain lions here! We were able to take our dog on a leash and did about 4 hours of hiking into different tails. We did notice however that there weren’t many people on the trails which is how we saw the mountain lion taking a nap on the trail. When there’s less foot traffic it can be dangerous. Overall it’s decently covered with trees and the weather can be warm.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very beautiful trail. If you use the map it’s pretty easy to stay on track but you can adventure off if you want to as well. The sun will hit you for most of the hike so be prepared with enough water for everyone. I did this one without my 1.5 year old and I would recommend leaving the babies at home. Dogs had a blast but you’ll want to bring enough water for them too.

9/15/2018: Our group including 5 adults and 3 kids (ages about 5-11) all wearing regular shoes, made the trip up and back with time to stop for lunch and views in about 5 hours. It was a stunning day to be outside as it was nice and brisk but sunny. Bring a windbreaker though- it was downright COLD with the wind up near the top and out of the tree line.
Side note: It's been several days since our hike and my calves are still barking! As others said, it isn't overly steep, but it'll still get ya!
We'll definitely be headed back! (I heard the flowers are lovely mid-summer!)

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views of river, can be very hot midday and very little shade. The way there is mostly downhill which makes it very arduous coming back. The river is crystal clear and so refreshing and calm to swim in. Encountered 20-30 people in 4 hours.

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