10 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.