Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

Northern Sacramento Valley, California

Start Exploring
Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
00

Shares

Advertisement
  • Valley oak at the parking lot.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • California native wildflowers.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Ravine Falls in the spring.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Table Mountain scenery.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Little Phantom Falls (right) and Phantom Falls (left).- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • The view down Coal Canyon.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Phantom Falls in the spring.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Decomposing columnar basalt under a lava cap and waterfall.- Ravine + Phantom Falls, North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wildflowers. Waterfalls. Room to explore.
Cons: 
Short hiking season. Crowds on weekends.
Advertisement
Region:
Northern Sacramento Valley, CA
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
1,336 ft (407 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
-100 ft (-30 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
90°F
64°

Fri

Clear throughout the day.
95°F
66°

Sat

Clear throughout the day.
100°F
69°

Sun

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
100°F
73°

Mon

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
95°F
68°

Tue

Partly cloudy in the morning.
92°F
66°

Wed

Clear throughout the day.
88°F
62°
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Between 30 and 40 million years ago, an ancient volcano near what is now Honey Lake expelled lava that flowed west and drained all the way into what would become the Northern Sacramento Valley. This dark basalt formation can be seen in a handful of places, but one of the best spots is at Table Mountain north of Oroville. In the early spring, geology combines with plant ecology and hydrology to create a spectacular show of waterfalls, wildflowers, and vernal pools.

A solitary oak greets you at the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve parking area. As there are currently no established trails, you should note the oak as a landmark while you embark on your cross-country walkabout. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore in this reserve, and some of the highlights are the twin cascades of Ravine Falls and Phantom Falls. The trickiest part of the walk to the overlook occurs just as you pass Ravine Falls. Make sure to pass south and west of the fence line that forms a border with private property. Once you pass the fence, an unofficial use trail makes it easier to navigate toward an overlook showing Phantom Falls, Little Phantom Falls, and Coal Canyon.

The walk to the overlook is about 1.75 miles one way. You have the option of hiking in an arc around Phantom Falls for more photographic opportunities. A cut in the lava cap northwest of the falls can provide access with a scramble to the underbelly of the falls and the lava cap.

 

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Adventures

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
158 Members
Who's Done It
25 Members
Submission by
Contributor
35 Adventures Explored
18 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info