Zim Zim Falls Trail

MODERATE 36 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Zim Zim Falls Trail is a 8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Knoxville, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.0 miles
810 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


1 month ago

As of today, aug 12, 2018. Not amazing at all. Smokey, dry, way too hot and literally looks like it burned down yesterday. Very sketchy to get to and should not go by yourself. Hopefully in the cooler months and growth from rain I’ll try again but def bummed bc recent reviews said it was great.
......... also I was just informed that it’s hunting season up there. Def not safe right now!!!!

7 months ago

The point of doing this 12.9 kilometer is to reach the Zim Zim water fall in Napa. The trail is fine, i crossed the creek 11-12 times as i hiked. the scenery wasnt that impressive i saw pipes many times and to me this ruins the beauty of nature.

The trail branches as you get closer to the waterfall. If you go left, prepare yourself for serious bushwhacking. I got pulled, pushed, scratched, poked, poked in the eye, i scrambled, i climbed, i screamed to no use.

i couldnt find the trail to the waterfall, the bushes,the rising water, and the wobbly rocks stubbornly blocked access to the waterfall.

Fearing that darkness will soon descend and i would be stuck on a boulder with no way back or forwarded, i declared defeat and retreated.

I took the second path leading up the waterfall and managed to see it from above.

Not the same experience but i will be back with some backup.

The drive to the waterfall was not easy, snaking road that can get you dizzy. Closer to the beginning of the trail, the road got really bumpy. Many holes so watch out.

Also if the water level of the creek gets high, it floods the road. Not this year though, very minimal flooding, the road is passable

7 months ago

This trail is remote! The first part of the trail I would classify as easy. Towards the waterfall, I would classify as moderate. We met two guys hunting coyotes about 1.25 miles in. They were very nice. Lots of birds. We flushed out a whole bunch of what we call grouse on the east coast.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nice hike with decent incline at the end and pretty views but it is not worth the amount of ticks! I found 8 ticks on myself and almost 30 on my dog.

Monday, May 22, 2017

This was a beautiful hike and the waterfall was amazing but I'm going to give a few warnings… Do not bring a dog, my dog came home with 20+ ticks - add to the fact that it's not great for humans either as I came home with 1 and the person with me came home with 4, then there is the shade issue… As there is not any, so if you're going to take this hike take as much water as you can carry, and last there's the peril of the end stretch to the Falls… It is very steep and very slippery because of the dead wheatgrass so take it very slow and make sure you have some good traction on your shoes!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Lovely hike with beautiful wild flowers and a gorgeous waterfall at the end.

Some tips that I want to emphasize:

- Driving northbound on Knoxville rd, you drive through 3 streams that may be impassible during high water. The first 2 I passed, the crossings were dry, but there was water flowing across the 3rd stream (low enough to drive through on a small coupe)

- Lots of stream crossings on the actual hike itself so be prepared for wet feet, whether you are wearing waterproof boots or not. Met a lady there that crossed all the streams barefoot.

- When you get to the pink/red rock I HIGHLY recommend taking the trail on the right. There will be another fork in the trail, if you take the left turn it will take you to the waterfall which is absolutely beautiful. Taking the main trail (or right turn) will take you to an overview/outlook of the waterfall and you can choose to do a longer hike/loop.

IF you decide to take the straight/left trail at the pink rock, be prepared to do some bushwacking as there is no trail. We tried to take that trail, but it leads to nothing and is pretty sketchy. Enter at your own risk.

- Be wary of ticks on this trail. I found a tick on myself and another in my car after getting home.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

This trail was lovely this time of year. The flowers are just starting to bloom, the grass is lush and the river is full. The trail was easy to get to and easy to follow until the end. I don't know if we missed something or the weather wiped it out but the last leg of the trail didn't seem do-able for amateur hikers, it was very steep, close to the edge and just very muddy. I've done much more difficult trails before but this didn't seem like a proper trail. So in the end we didn't get quite close enough to the falls. Like I said, the trail might have been damaged or it could have been we missed a turn off somewhere. Over all though we had a really lovely morning and enjoyed ourselves soggy feet and all.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The vast majority of the trail is relatively flat and easy. However, once you approach the waterfall the trails on both sides are practically washed out. I recommend following the rocks and the water until you reach the waterfall. Plenty of water flowing off today. I don't see it drying up anytime soon. Plan on crossing the stream at least 10x along the way. Your feet will be wet and/or muddy the entire hike.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Love this hike! Hiking the valley & lots of crossing creek. Expect to get ur shoes soaking wet:)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Easy hike. Mainly flat until you're close to the waterfall. Trail is a little confusing towards the end because we wanted to get to the waterfall. We found out later that it's all connected.
There are a total of nine streams to cross. That was pretty refreshing. Just to let you guys know, the road was closed to through traffic. Be careful driving through.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Good trail, easy to follow. All the elevation gain is at the end. Waterfall was running well on New Year's Day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

liked this hike. the trail was a bit boggy in places but I expected that. beautiful view of the falls. brought the dogs and they had a great time too!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

It's a very easy lovely hike. Lightly traveled and easy to get to. Though would recommend long pants and gators to not get tore up by grasses and what not. I went off trail and setup my hammock over looking the valley for a nice afternoon nap. When I went (2 weeks ago) there was no fresh running water. Make sure to bring plenty.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I've hiked this trail a few times. I always just go to the water fall and back which is around 7 miles. This trail is always over grown. There are about 8 creek crossings one way. During the summer they are dried up and during the rain season they are uncross able. Best time fall and spring when it hasn't rained for at least a week. The water will be about 6" deep and there are enough rocks at each crossing to get across. I went summer of 2016 and the only water to be found was near the water fall, even with my filter it tasted like pond scum, 100 degrees that day, should of brought more water. There is a nice camp spot near the base of the falls. Here are some coordinates-
trail head- N38.75190 & W122.28355
Camp- 38.78105 & 122.31963
Trail fork- 38.77872 & 122.31464 right camp, left up to top of water fall and great view.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

did this trail in late March and the wildflowers in the upper parts of the valley were spectacular. Also ran into a rattlesnake den in the abandoned camp site, so keep your eyes open!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

I did this trail on Dec 31 2015. Right now all the creeks around there are dry, the grass is dead and everything is frozen. It's better to wait until at least February or March to have a good chance of seeing green grass and maybe some water if the El Nino' holds up.

This site has some more info on the trail. I did most of the 11-mile loop past the falls, which is the longer version of the trail on this page. The ~3 miles up to the falls only took an hour with the dry stream, then the trail crosses behind the falls, up over a saddle and down into the next valley west, which is more dry. After a while is passes a flooded, crumbling mine drift and then starts to become overgrown. It's still relatively easy to follow as long as you know about that last turn towards the end of the ridge. At N38.73931° W122.31303° the trail makes a 90-degree left turn straight uphill and then stays high on the ridge, following it's contour around it's south end. If you don't turn there and keep going straight, it will SEEM you are still on the trail until it disappears into the bushes in a half mile. Bring a GPS, make sure it doesn't "truncate" the track like mine did (the GPX on that site is more than 500 points) and you should be fine. Look for the geocaches around there too.

Friday, May 01, 2015

This is a flat, valley floor hike that should be marked Beginner. Other than the distance, their is really no difficulty involved. Went in late March and had some river crossings but that entailed hopping from rock to rock in 4-6 inches of water. The valley has beautiful meadows and stands of old oak trees that are breathtaking in the early morning. The trail is actually a rarely used maintenance road for telecommunications lines so it is in pretty decent shape. The trail to the waterfall leaves this road and is poorly marked. There is no cell reception so either print out the directions or bring a GPS with you. Bring bug spray as the gnats can become a bit thick near the pooled water.

recorded nice

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

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