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Boulder Creek Falls Trail, CA

Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,293 feet
Elevation Gain 977 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,007 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.86
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
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5  2017-04-22 lojones5
4  2017-01-15 lojones5
9  2016-10-22 lojones5
author avatar Guides 16,866
Routes 17,202
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 25 Male Gender
Location HAZ, TrailDEX
co-author avatarGuides 24
Routes 166
Photos 550
Trips 106 map (537 Miles)
Age 29 Male Gender
Location Broomfield, CO
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Preferred Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct
Sun  5:15am - 7:16pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Falls and Ladybugs
by HAZ_Hikebot & lojones5

The first mile of the trail follows a wide, exposed logging road through a thicket of white leaf manzanita, knobcone pine, redbud, wild grape and poison oak. Near the creek this brushland transitions into a forest of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and canyon live oak.

Look for ladybugs in a clearing just before the first creek crossing. Thousands have been seen next to the side of the trail on sunny days in fall, winter and early spring.

The trail follows the creek for the next half mile, crossing Boulder Creek and a seasonal creek four times. Bracken and sword ferns abound along the creek. Just past the third crossing, on both sides of the trail, are the deteriorating foundations of a residence last occupied in the 1960s. A little farther on, the trail forks; take the right fork. You will come to a nice stand of big leaf maples as you approach the final crossing.

Approaching the falls, the trail drops down into a cool watershed.
The creek leading from the falls is visible, crossing the road. The sign for the short side trail to the falls will be on your left. Follow the steps up the hill to a rocky vantage point where the main falls
can be seen. The falls directly ahead are 81 feet tall with an additonal 28 feet of cataracts above. Plants that flourish in this riparian habitat are tiger lily, solomon seal and chain fern.

The trail continues on to Mill Creek Road. Turn right and walk to Carr Powerhouse, 1.7 miles distant. Or, return the way you came

Watch for poison oak, and be careful crossing slippery boulders.

Boulder Creek cuts through Copley greenstone, a Devonian metamorphic rock of near- shore oceanic origin formed about 400 million years ago. It ranges in color from dull orange and light brown (weathered) to dark blue-green. Along the trail and in the creek bed you will see numerous areas where the greenstone is capped with granitic boulders. These are debris flows from the Shasta Bally batholith (Cretaceous, 133 million years) that from time to time have washed down the mountain into the creek valley. Several hundred yards above the falls, a particularly good example of this formation may be seen. Across Mill Creek Road at the upper trailhead is a majestic ravine that follows the Hoadley fault through much of the park. The Hoadley is an inactive extensional fault, slightly older than the Shasta Bally Batholith.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2016-10-22 HAZ_Hikebot & lojones5
  • Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 1
    guide related
    Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 1
  • Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 2
    guide related
    Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 2

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center drive 7 miles west on Hwy 299. Turn left at the Carr Powerhouse, and follow the road all the way past the powerhouse itself. When the paved road ends take a sharp left onto South Shore Drive. Continue 2.7 miles to the trailhead which is located on the right side of the road. Limited parking is available across the road.

The same trailhead can also be approached from Kennedy Memorial Drive. From the dam, drive west 4.3 miles. Just before the gate at Dry Creek Group Campground, turn left. Follow South Shore Drive 2.7 miles to the trailhead.
page created by lojones5 on Oct 22 2016 9:22 pm
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