Explore the most popular waterfall trails in California with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

21 hours ago

Did this hike for the first time it was easier than I thought. It is rated as hard but I think it is moderate it is not too strenuous and not too steep. The elevation is pretty Steep at times it’s a gradual climb up and down the mountain. Took my chance and didn’t get a permit as there is nobody down by the waterfall checking. It is only $10 and the fine is $180 so it makes sense to pay the $10 because they use it for the restoration of the trails anyways. You are allowed To hike the trail but you do have to have a permit to enter the Water Falls area. There are other trails that you can take. The Ranger told me there will be no water and he was right he said go after March when the snow was melting and it’s a better experience.All in all a great hike recommend bringing water going early as it does get hot. Beautiful scenery and beautiful sounds of nature. They must hike for everyone at least once. Happy hiking :)

Drove out here 4 days after our first rainfall in January. There was some water in the falls which was perfect for rock scrambling around the falls. I would imagine in the late spring that you would not be able to climb around as much since the falls would be full. We started the hike on the PCT and climbed down some rocks to get to the falls. We continued to go down some boulders and went off trail for a more adventurous route. After bushwhacking our way back up to the ridge for about an hour, we finally made it back to the PCT. Thank God I had long pants on. When we got back on the official trail, we headed back to the small parking lot that we started. The total route we took was about 4 1/2 miles. I would like to go back again after we've had more rain and I get on the official trail the entire way. Beautiful hike!! We were the only ones there on a Sunday in January. Perfect hiking weather with a high of about 69 degrees.
Here's the link to Google Maps on where to park

on Balch Park Trail

22 hours ago

What is marked as a trailhead appears to be on state prison grounds. Has anyone actually done this hike?

23 hours ago

A fantastic day hike on a very mild Jan 2. Beautiful river with pools and rapids. We were the only two people on the trail. We didn’t start until noon so only got to large pool and falls about 3.5 miles in and came out to finish by dark. Will definitely come again to have more time.

Easy hike, wide trails without much elevation gain. Great for beginners, family outings, or getting back into it. A fair amount of other hikers, including horses. Not enough to be crowded, but enough to know you're not going to be forgotten and eaten by mountain lions.

It’s a beautiful trail next time I’ll go when it’s not so over cast

Loved the trial. Awesome place! Awesome trail! Great environment

Great hike! Nice to avoid the crowds of The Valley and still enjoy the amazing views that Yosemite has to offer.

If you doing a day hike and traveling light, it’s pretty easy. That being said, make sure you bring enough water, we had a family ask us to pump them water because they only had a couple of small bottles between the five of them.

We camped in and it was pretty steep with our gear. But overall definitely an amazing hike.

1 day ago

Beautiful hike, even with the fog!

Great hike! Rocky and no shade. So be prepared. Perfect for beginners such as myself. Can’t wait to take my kids and husband up next time.

1 day ago

Trail was clear and passable up to the falls (did not go further).

Lots of water in the river crossings on the road to the trailhead. Recommend high clearance vehicle.

We didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, but we will definitely be back. This trail has lots of gnarly rocks on either side, which I enjoy. There was a little scrambling to be done in the way to Goat Rock especially, but nothing too bad. You can see across Monterey Bay from the top of Goat Rock!

1 day ago

Wonderfully maintained trail that showcases some very historical aspects of the canyon. Good for hikers of all levels.

We just hiked to Second Lake (mid January ‘18) and are amazed at how gradual the trail is - probably because it’s graded for stock. It was a fast hike of only 10 miles round trip, but the views are staggering, especially in winter. If you hit this trail before the next major snow you only need micro spikes after the Ranger Station.

beautiful right now! green and gorgeous. Wasnt too difficult except for a couple uphill stretches. (I am not in the best shape right now haha) But it was relatively easy.

This trail was just okay - nothing special as there is not really a waterfall at this time of year, unless I missed it somehow. Hiked further down into the canyon off trail and that was cooler.

so beautiful, a must go back in the summer to enjoy the water

its a very nice hike!! I'd say it's rated hard only because of it not being an actual trail but a lot of boulders to cross over which is really fun. I brought my dogs and they loved being off the leash frolicking around!

awesome trail!
nice swimming hole at the end.

1 day ago

Not too difficult but by far, one of my favorite hikes......you better like stairs though! Make sure to pick a warm day to do this trek because it'll add to the overall beauty while keeping you energized to continue.

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