Rancheria Falls Trail

EASY 187 reviews
#2 of 85 trails in

Rancheria Falls Trail is a 4.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Shaver Lake, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
649 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The first right about 1 mile after the China Peak Ski Resort (previously known as Sierra Summit). If you pass the Kokanee Work Camp, you have gone too far. Once you turn around, the trail sign is visible and hides the 8S31 road sign. It's about 1.3mi on a dirt road that ends with parking and a restroom.

7 days ago

So, the description is misleading. This hike isn’t actually long at all. You can drive your car up most of the way to a parking area (would suggest a SUV, our corolla had a hard time). With that said, the short hike to the falls was beautiful, being high in the mountains meant it wasn’t too hot, and the falls itself was a little crowded. Overall worth a stop when exploring the area!

13 days ago

Beautiful easy trail. If you have kids, it’s best to drive up the dirt road and start where the parking lot is. Dirt road is a little rough if you don’t have a SUV or truck. But beautiful waterfall at the end. My kids enjoyed it even my 4 year old.

14 days ago

I think it some type of steps and / or handrails could be constructed to facilitate a safer decent to the waterfalls pools. Other than that, it is an easy surface to negotiate on the trail and a scenic hike also!

15 days ago

Quiet during weekdays. Lower pool is easily accessible from the trail. Some scramble to the top of the falls.

hiking
18 days ago

Short and simple, with a very rewarding waterfall

hiking
19 days ago

Good family hike with a nice view at the end.

21 days ago

Dirt road entry is pretty rough but the walk is very nice.

23 days ago

Easy walk. Loved the beautiful falls!

24 days ago

took my hunny it was very pretty

27 days ago

Great beginners hike. It’s an out and back so it’s easy to follow. Parking lot can get a little full during peak times but people aren’t hanging out there all day long so the cars filter in and out frequently. Overall, great little hike for families and groups with small kids.

28 days ago

Very beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail!

hiking
29 days ago

Definitely drive up the dirt road all the way to the Sierra National Forrest sign. This way you won’t wear yourselves out before you even get on the actual trail. We made it too difficult for ourselves. Lol It’s a beautiful hike with a gorgeous waterfall at the end. Many families are on this trail. We took our Weimaraner. She loved it. This is an easy hike with a slight uphill climb. Don’t forget to bring your water jugs! We will be going again in the early morning for a different experience as we got there around noonish.

1 month ago

Super easy hike. It’s a 10-15 min hike if you drive til the parking lot.

1 month ago

Easy hike. Took the fam, 3 kids ages 8 and 9 and the grandma. Beautiful view at the end.

walking
1 month ago

The trail was really easy to find. It was beautiful and totally work the trip.

You can park at the bottom and walk from there or drive up the dirt road and start at the little bridge.

The waterfall was really cool and the view was great

1 month ago

only a mile to falls after you drive 2 miles on dirt road from hwy 168 so 6 miles from hwy or two miles up and back from trailhead. Get with it All trails. You are way off!

2 months ago

Great access to get under the falls

2 months ago

Easy hike. Dog friendly. Beautiful views!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike that is very kid friendly. Be warned - the vault toilet is vile, full of trash and marmot droppings. And bring your own toilet paper if you really want to use it.

hiking
2 months ago

A beautiful, easy trail for the whole family, young and old alike!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was awesome. We parked at the base (not the lot inside) which made the hike a little over 4 Miles. The trail is well kept and easy to follow. Steady incline to the top but not too steep. The falls were beautiful! The weather was perfect. A little chilly when we got there by 9am but once you get moving, the coolness feels great. You don’t get wet from the falls, just a very little bit of mist.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this with hubby, our 8- and 6-year-old sons and Australian Shepherd on a Wednesday morning, only saw three other people and one dog. Nice family hike, wide trail, about 1.7 miles from the parking lot to the falls and back. There is a vault toilet but completely trashed...diapers, cups, etc. on the ground. Too bad there isn't a trash can and I agree with Ashley D...why can't people just pack out their garbage? The falls are gorgeous, I wouldn't be comfortable hiking this with my kids when there's a lot of people since the end of the trail is narrow, rocky, and misty.

hiking
2 months ago

If you continue on the dirt road in your car, it leads to a parking lot which makes the hike much shorter. Disappointed with the gross bathroom and trash left near it. Wish they had a trash can at the trailhead, and I don’t understand why people can’t pack out what they pack in. The trail is beautiful with the surrounding trees and the waterfall is amazing! Went early morning around 9 and we had the falls to ourselves. This was a quick and beautiful hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy, relaxing trail alongside creek sounds and singing birds. Map is accurate for the 4 mile rt hike, but if you have kids I recommend to drive your car up to the parking lot. From there it's about a 2 mile rt hike. Waterfall is absolutely beautiful!

2 months ago

The trail is actually only about 2 miles, not 4 miles as stated. Beautiful waterfall though!

hiking
2 months ago

Directions from the app worked great and there are signs for forest service access road 8S31 coming from both directions of 168. We went on May 23 and the road was open so we drove the SUV up to the Rancheria Falls parking lot. Road up was pretty tough, a standard sized car might bottom out. The parking lot actually has 11 spaces but I recommend arriving early. We got there after 10:30 am and were the only ones there but buy the time we left at noon there were four groups of hikers on their way to the falls and most had dogs. Our group included hikers aged 3 to 75 and incline proved to be too much for a few. Trail is wide, well marked, and clean. Waterfall is amazing and raging now. Recommend holding hands of little kids when cliffside and by rocks. Hike well worth the trip. Bathroom on the otherhand was one of the most disgusting I've ever experienced (it would get negative stars). Nearly every hiker in our group preferred the Indian Pools hike over this one because the entire way you are right next to a river despite being more difficult to follow but these Falls are fantastic.

walking
3 months ago

Super nice and easy trail. Still quiet a bit of snow on the trail. The falls are really flowing and the roar is loud! Great time.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked Lewis Creek Trail 2 days ago and it was awesome. Great view, many waterfalls. It was very rocky, lots of fallen trees to climb over. My wife and I are still sore from it but we loved every minute.

3 months ago

Great hike! Parked at the road and walked in to the trailhead. Makes for about 4 miles round trip. Still quite a bit of patchy snow and a few places were a little slick and scary near the falls, but gorgeous views! Not super strenuous and most uphill at the beginning.

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