University Falls Trail

Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, California

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University Falls Trail


  • The hike to University Falls begins on Loop Road.- University Falls Trail
  • A barricade ensures only foot traffic is allowed.- University Falls Trail
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- University Falls Trail
  • The hike to University Falls.- University Falls Trail
  • The route becomes a little rocky and steep before reaching University Falls.- University Falls Trail
  • University Falls.- University Falls Trail
  • University Falls.- University Falls Trail
  • - University Falls Trail
Overview + Weather
Swimming holes. Natural waterslides. Short hike.
Crowded. Limited parking.
University Falls has been closed due to excessive quantities of garbage, human waste, and conflicts between users. Visitors risk significant fines for trespassing. There is no timeline reopening.
Sacramento + Davis Metro Area, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
470.00 ft (143.26 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
2.40 mi (3.86 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,940.00 ft (1,200.91 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


This short hike is a perfect appetizer for the refreshing pools at University Falls. Look for the start of the trail at the a large yellow metal gate, and begin hiking on the one lane road that is dominated on both sides by large pine trees. Small lizards love to sun on the outskirts of the trail, and they can be seen scampering away as your footsteps approach. The trail is fairly shaded, though it can become rather hot and dusty in the summer months.  The first section of the trail is fairly easy, and it gradually winds down to the steeper and more technical second section.

After passing by a small creek, you will find yourself on a much narrower section of trail that is dominated by rocks and has a much steeper grade. Be very careful with your footing as you make your way down, as the dirt is loose and likes to shift underfoot. You can rest assured that you are near the bottom when you see two old, rusted-out cars to the left of the trail. After passing this point you will reach Pilot Creek. Proceed a little further for the natural water slides and swimming holes at University Falls. Though very popular, note that the slides can be dangerous and should be fully examined for any safety hazards before attempting. The first three slides are commonly used; the fourth slide is very dangerous and not safe for sliding. If you follow the trail to the very end, it will lead to a small lookout point for a great view down Pilot Creek.  

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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16 Adventures Published

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