Harding Falls Trail

HARD 49 reviews
#18 of 105 trails in

Harding Falls Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverado, California that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1043 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

muddy

over grown

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

It's free parking with plenty of spaces throughout the day. The first few miles feature a descent into the canyon on a defined trail out in the open. The way back up is a decent incline in the sun! Trail begins to disappear after you reach the dried creek. Just follow it up, but having a map will prevent you from getting side tracked. Unfortunately this trail gets very overgrown. Lots of poison oak too!!! Once you get yourself into the shaded regions of the hike you will have about a mile and a half left to go. This part is the technical portion. Nothing too scary, but poles are your best friend here. Sadly the waterfall is down to a trickle, but the journey and views were still very worth every bit of the hike. The water pools are very refreshing!

1 month ago

Great hike if you like seclusion. The waterfall was just a little trickle but there were still some nice little ponds along the way. The newts were hard to find hiding as they were hiding in the cracks in the rocks instead of swimming in the ponds as usual. Started at 8:45 from the Tucker Nature and was done by 1:30. It was Sunday, but still saw no one along the way

1 month ago

4 months ago

First half is hot a dry lots of dead plants and rocks but the second half is worth the wait it's cool shaded and beautiful. Make sure to bring lots of water and stop in she shaded areas as often as you can. Not as hard as some of the other descriptions clame

4 months ago

Probably one of the most beautiful secluded trails I've had the pleasure to hike. 6:30am-1:30pm on a Sunday and it was just us the entire way through.

Trail is actually about 6 miles in total from the parking lot. It's free parking with plenty of spaces throughout the day.

The first few miles feature a descent into the canyon on a defined trail out in the open. The way back up is a decent incline in the sun!

Trail begins to disappear after you reach the dried creek. Just follow it up, but having a map will prevent you from getting side tracked. Unfortunately this trail gets very overgrown. Having something to clear would have been pleasant. Lots of poison oak too!!!

Once you get yourself into the shaded regions of the hike you will have about a mile and a half left to go. This part is the technical portion. Nothing too scary, but poles are your best friend here.

Sadly the waterfall is down to a trickle, but the journey and views were still very worth every bit of the hike. The water pools are very refreshing! We took a dip at the risk of water bugs biting us, but it made for an amazing summer day trip.

Lots of small animals roaming around too. We knew the risk of rattle snakes but only saw one garter. None the less it's important to know they inhabit the area and to watch out for them.

4 months ago

This is definitely longer than this app says! I registered 7.9/8 miles. Took me about 5 hours there and back. Beautiful pools along the way and the bugs weren't bad at all. When coming back it was easy to loose the trail bc everything is so open and dry, lots of side trails and short cuts can be misleading, just stay close to the riverbed and your fine. Saw a couple of snakes, a few bunnies and birds. No rattlers. But I will say this, on my way back I saw some big tracks that were not there on my way up, they were definitely fresh. And after getting through the thick brush I stopped for a moment in a clearing with the canyon walls a good bit back from me. Something behind me made the rocks start falling, almost a mini slide, and I saw something brown jet over the ridge above it. I'm not making claims bc I don't know what it was, but it had me spooked. I was the only person out there today. So please bring a friend and stay safe!

hiking
4 months ago

This was an amazing hike and yes it can be difficult. Its the dry season so the first 2 miles of this hike you will be in and out of the river bed. I am curios how this hike looks during the wet season because I have no doubt you would be crossing the river multiple times. There is a lot of rock scrambling in turn there can be a lot of ways to twist an ankle on this hike so take it slow and steady. Towards the last mile of this hike the scenery drastically changes from being just a dry river bed to a lush wooded area with low level streams (probably much different during winter and spring). The falls were low but it is the dry season. This hike is a must and I will definitely return during the wet season. Stay safe hikers!

hiking
4 months ago

Fun hike on a hot July morning! Parked the car at Tucker wildlife lot, and started on the trail at 7:30 and got all the way to Harding Falls and back to the car by 12:45. This is definitely a moderate to difficult hike, not for the distance or the time it takes to complete, but because over half the hike is not via Trail.. the last 2 miles are pretty much you navigating up the dry creek bed through a gorgeous canyon, bushwacking and bouldering. There is lots of Poison oak, and lots of fun pools and trickling streams to look for wildlife in/around. We saw several smallish garter snakes, a handful of California newts in the pools and some frogs and lizards. No rattlers though.

When you get to the decent sized deeper pool, you still have about 30-45 mins to get to actual Harding Falls, which for us, was just a trickle with a small pool at the bottom. It was still pretty and still nice to wash our hands/face in.

We had a good time and the entire time only saw two other hikers. Very peaceful.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Relatively difficult on the day we went - was 92 F. Terrain is relatively rocky the entire way. Was fun, and will be revisiting on a cooler day.

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome hike! Be prepared for a ruff journey though, tons of wash outs and land slides from the past wet season. Bring lots of water if attempted during summer! Also this is a in and out hike,takes an average hiker around 5-6 hours there and back.

6 months ago

Great hike tough but great!! Careful with snakes !!

hiking
6 months ago

A difficult, strenuous, very technical and adventurous hike into a majestic canyon full of lush wildlife, refreshing pools of water, rock formations, and, if you push hard enouhh, an amazing two tier waterfall at the end of it. We hiked it in the middle of May, it was hot but the running water and the pools really cooled us off as the day got hotter and we became more and more drained. Bring 3L minimum of water, snacks and food. Be prepared for 7.5miles round trip. The final mile is all technical, off trail, bouldering and following the stream up to the water fall. took us about 8 hours total. My app didn't fully sync the distance and time due to me enabling power saving mode on my phone.

hiking
8 months ago

Did this on 4/11/17. This hike has a lot of rock hopping but it wasn't too bad because you could always see the bottom of the water bed, so if you slipped, you might just step down to your knees in water. What I felt uncomfortable with were the snakes. I went with a friend and we encountered 3 snakes. 2 quietly left as we approached, but 1 was a rattlesnake and it most definitely rattled to tell us to back away. I highly recommend poles to help with the spring crossings but also because you can use them to clear the path before you to check for snakes as well as create more vibrations in the ground so the snakes know you are around. We only made it to the pool and didn't go to the falls as we felt adequately spooked by all our snake encounters.

9 months ago

At the fork, head down by the river bed (left not right up hill). They are right, it's hard but worth it!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike! Be prepared for wet shoes, no cell coverage, and tough to find trails. The trails are easier to find on the way back. I can only imagine the low ratings for the difficulties. I find it more of a challenge personally. The waterfall is nothing exciting, but the hike is tough. Just after 1/2 way there your pace becomes very slow. Just remember your best way forward may be crossing the water several times. I went through just over 2 liters of water in 55 to 70 degree weather. Stay to the left after a short hike up the Harding truck trail to switch to the falls trail. Then head right at the bottom.

hiking
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It was tough. But we could not find away to the top from the last 3/4 mile. Too steep and we kept falling back. Wet and muddy so no traction. So we back tracked and and headed up the normal trail towards Flores peak.

hiking
Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Definitely a tough Hike as I ended up doing a little over 6 miles. There is a LOT of overgrowth and the trail just keeps going and going. The fact that it just rained was awesome as there was plenty of rushing water.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

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