Root Creek Trail is a 4.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Castella, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 816 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips







no dogs

7 days ago

Ran into a bear for the first time. Not gonna lie.. scary... but we lived.

7 days ago

5/29/20: The end was a little difficult to figure out because it didn’t really follow the trail on here, but it was a fun trail. We did see a bear and that was scary because it was the first beer we’ve seen, but it was an okay hike.

off trail
washed out
13 days ago

1 month ago

Nice to get outdoors. Pretty dogwood trees blooming along the way

2 months ago

Went up today. Not too muddy but had some control burns making it a bit smokey at the beginning of the trail from Soda Creek. Barely any snow.

3 months ago

What a beautiful, perfect trail! Took 5 kids out between the ages of 8 and 12 and every one of us had a great time. The trail is not difficult and in good condition. There are a couple of trees down but nothing major. Lots of creek access. The end does require either some butt-shuffling down to a cute set of falls for some good photo ops, or a precarious root- and rock-grabbing hike up a steep hill for the money shot. We managed to get the kids down to the creek/falls at the end, but they did NOT go up to the photo op spot because it was just a little too sketchy. Luckily it is a quick jaunt up so they just waited on the trail below while us grown ups went up. Super awesome trail with lots of shade, would be great in warmer weather too. Very cold when we went, but very worth it!

As the previous reviewer said, most of this trail is closed until January. alternative is a bit of an uphill battle, but the vista point is worth it. 2.5 hours, 4.3 miles.

8 months ago

Root Creek Trail access via PCT is closed until January. There is a detour of the PCT through the kettleberry trail and looks like you hike up to the vista point then down the root creek trail that way.

10 months ago

nice easy hike in from the vista point parking lot to the creek. It gets harder past the easy access trail and the falls are dry this time of year. We were on the trail July 19, 2019. Nice creek.

11 months ago

Beautiful easy trail! Had a wonderful time enjoying nature. Easy trail to take kids on as well. Low traffic- had the place all to myself

11 months ago

Nice trail. Once handicap access ends, you’ll need to travel an additional 1.4 miles to gain a view of the two main falls. Follow up the left side of creek ( there is a trail ). There’s a few trees you’ll have to over/under. Just before reaching ability to view falls the trail has a short, steep decent to the very bottom of falls. You can’t see the falls but we came back to this spot and had lunch as it seemed the best option. If you don’t go down and continue up the trail, it gets more difficult from here. I went as far as I needed to to take a picture and didn’t want to go any further. That little side trail down is no joke either, but a great spot if you’re up to it.

11 months ago

very well maintained up to the creek. once you go left at the creak gets a little rough. we climbed up the gorge to the different parts of the falls and I would suggest good traction shoes or don't do it.

11 months ago

This hike was so pretty. The first. 5 miles were steep but it leveled out most of the way.If your going to the Falls go right whenever you rech both of the signs to Root creek. Once you get to Root Creek you see some pipes/bell that has been there forever and just go left up a trail. It's a bit hard to see at first but go up and follow. it narrows a bit and you'll have to go over some fallen trees but just stay parallel to the creek and you'll run into the Falls. I went today and it was simply gorgeous and flowing right now.

Tue Apr 30 2019

April 28, 2019 Lots of water in creek and falls, which are about a half mile beyond "end" of trail. Scramble up to the left and there is a pretty well worn narrow path. You have to go over or under about 5 logs in that section, which was a little tough with a pack, but doable, and definitely worth it.

Wed Apr 03 2019

Fairly easy trail from I5 up to root creek. The all trails “end of trail” will take you to the creek. But an additional few minutes of climbing higher through the woods needed to reach the falls.

Sat Jan 26 2019

This hike was amazing to do with the family. Starts out steep but then levels off for most of the trail. Hiking on part of the PCT trail was fun but the real payoff is the waterfall at the end. You must hike beyond the point this trail app gives you the “verified complete” tag.

Mon Nov 05 2018

Beautiful easy trail. Great day hike from I5. Your chance to walk on a piece of the PCT!

Sun Oct 14 2018

It’s a hard trail in some points, really steep, but doable. We got lost so many times, the trail is not well marked, so you need to pay attention.

Sat Aug 18 2018

I didn't start this trail from the beginning as shown, but from the parking lot up at Vista view. from here, the trail isn't as long, but is a nice walk out to the creek.

Sat Sep 16 2017

I was scared of bears

Thu Sep 07 2017

Completed this hike last weekend. It was a great trail to hike with all the members of the family. It was easy and it offered plenty of shade.

Tue Jul 04 2017

The official trail ends at a creek with no view of the falls. But you will see a rusted pipe, which is where the "unofficial" trail begins. It's a well worn path, a bit more of a scramble than the rest of the hike but not too bad. About a half mile in you'll be able to get a view of the falls... However when we went in early July there was almost no water visibly flowing which was a big let down. But we did find a small clear pool of water along the way to take a very chilly dip in, which was quite fun and made the hike much more worthwhile. On another positive note, we saw less than 10 people the entire hike.

Fri Dec 16 2016

No real trail. Just goes up to powelines. A waste of time. No marked trail.

Sat Jun 18 2016

Really pretty, easy trail. The only elevation climb is in first 20mins. It's straight up, but really smooth path. Walking under a canopy of trees almost the whole time, the whole trail. Bring your bug spray. The only downfall, is this doesn't lead to anything. You go right to the creek, and have to turn right around. Not really enough space to even sit and have lunch or have four people stand at the same time. The pictures already posted to this trail are not on this trail. I think they kept on the Pacific crest Trail to castle crags to get their shots. I would likely stay on Pacific crest next time, to see a better end game. But, following this map, you turn off to the right to go to root creek. Like I said, great trail but nowhere to really sit down in the sun and relax. Otherwise, this has to be one of the easier portions of the Pacific crest Trail.

Tue Sep 08 2015

Gorgeous and easy trail

Thu Aug 13 2015

Nice, easy hike. And they put in a couple bridge/boardwalk areas to get through without getting muddy in the wet season. We went most recently in late May & saw some white orchids. The trail ends at pretty Root Creek.

1 day ago

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