Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
700.00 ft (213.36 m)
Trail type
3.30 mi (5.31 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Stevens Creek Waterfall hike follows the Stevens Trail before taking a fork toward the site of a 60-foot tall seasonal waterfall.

Beginning in the town of Colfax, adjacent to Interstate 80, the Stevens Trail is a popular route that descends through BLM-managed land before eventually meeting up with the North Fork of the American River. The Stevens Creek waterfall lies about 1.5 miles down the trail, though once reaching the falls, it will require some scrambling up boulders to reach the cascading falls and shallow pools.

The trail begins descending through forest, lined with pines, oaks, and stands of manzanita. The trail is hard packed dirt and most of the upper portion of the hike is shaded. There are several forks along the way, and markers at these forks are next to nonexistent, so hikers should come prepared with navigation to take the correct forks.

After some rolling climbing and descending, the trail reaches the falls at an outcropping of large stone boulders. Though if you're not looking, it may be easy to miss in the dry season as the stream flows underneath the trail. From the falls, a noticeable path to the left will head up a short steep track until reaching the boulders. From here visitors will have to make their way up the rocks - no climbing equipment is necessary, however rocks can be slick and have small footholds, so take your time here. 

Falling down about 50 feet over several cascades, the stream collects in small pools beneath each cascade which are just deep enough to dunk yourself in on hot days. Another small offshoot near the falls will lead to large boulder perched above the trees, offering views across the river valley.

From here, retrace your route back to the parking lot. 

The trail is uphill on the way out, and there is no drinking water available at the trailhead, so be prepared.

There is a vault toilet and trash cans at the trailhead parking area.

Be aware of poison oak throughout the trail.

The best time to see the waterfall is late spring. However during particularly wet seasons the flow may make the trail impassable, and during dry seasons there may be very little water flowing at all.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required

Open Year-round



Wide views. Wildflowers.


Poison oak. Waterfall is seasonal. Scrambling. Unsigned trail forks.

Trailhead Elevation

2,290.00 ft (697.99 m)

Highest point

2,290.00 ft (697.99 m)


Near lake or river
Family friendly
Vault toilet
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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