Hike to Phantom Falls and Ravine Falls

11:00 AM on Saturday, April 28

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Event Details

Organizer Chris Cullen
RSVP Yes (1) / No (4)
Cost Free
Where Table Mountain Parking lot
Cherokee Rd
Oroville, CA

Overview

Best of the BestBest of the BestBest of the BestBest of the BestBest of the Best Phantom Falls Phantom Falls at high flow

Location: Oroville, North Table Mountain Wildlife Area, Butte County
Stream: Coal Canyon Creek
Alternate Names: Coal Canyon Falls

Height: 134 ft.
Access: hike
dog
Distance: 3.4 miles (RT)
Elevation: 1300 ft. (-100 ft.)
Season: Dec-Apr
Difficulty: moderate
Form: plunge
Lat/Long:39.61041, -121.56063
Directions:From Oroville on Hwy 70, take exit 48 (Grand Ave.). Follow Grand Ave. east for 1.0 miles to Table Mountain Blvd. Turn left for 0.2 miles, then right on Cherokee Rd. Drive 6.3 miles on Cherokee Rd. to the unmarked parking area on the left (at a green cattle gate).

Phantom Falls, aka Coal Canyon Falls, on North Table Mountain in Oroville is well named for two good reasons. First, it is on a small drainage, and will be dry in the summer months. Second, it is extremely well hidden, and there are no trails leading to it. But if you do find Phantom Falls, it is a beauty, dropping off a 134 ft. cliff. The view of Phantom Falls and Coal Canyon is spectacular, but it is best to come here in the winter months, after a lot of rain. But it is also well worth coming in the spring when the wildflowers on Table Mountain are out (and hopefully after some rain as well, so the falls will be flowing nicely).

When you arrive at the trailhead, you will see that there is indeed no trail at all. You need to traverse cross country in a north-west direction to reach Phantom Falls. A GPS or compass is highly recommended for this trek. In the spring, Table Mountain is also well known for its spectacular display of wildflowers. Try not to trample them on your cross country route (difficult to do). In fact, the city of Oroville really needs to build an official trail here on Table Mountain. A trail is the only way to protect this fragile area.

The only way to reach Phantom Falls without trespassing is to head north west to a drainage almost due south of the falls, and then make your way down and back up the steep ravine. We did this, but we had to make our way through a poison oak forest to do it! We do not recommend this route! The only other way to Phantom Falls is to cross private property (which is what most people do). Please be respectful of others' property.

The viewpoint from across Coal Canyon to Phantom Falls is spectacular. The rock is undercut below the falls as you can see in my photo. The canyon is steep here, but it may be possible to get down to the falls' base via a steep (and no doubt poison oak filled) gully on the other side of the canyon.

There are plenty of other waterfalls on North and South Table Mountain as well. You will pass three of them enroute to Phantom Falls. All of these waterfalls on Table Mountain have very small drainages, so they will only be flowing well after quite a lot of rain.

GoodGood Ravine Falls Location: Oroville, North Table Mountain Wildlife Area, Butte County
Stream: Unnamed
Alternate Names: Fern Falls

Height: 71 ft.
Access: hike
dog
Distance: 3.4 miles (RT)
Elevation: 1300 ft. (-100 ft.)
Season: Dec-Apr
Difficulty: moderate
Form: plunge
Lat/Long:39.60373, -121.55801
Directions:From Oroville on Hwy 70, take exit 48 (Grand Ave.). Follow Grand Ave. east for 1.0 miles to Table Mountain Blvd. Turn left for 0.2 miles, then right on Cherokee Rd. Drive 6.3 miles on Cherokee Rd. to the unmarked parking area on the left (at a green cattle gate).

Ravine Falls is one of the few other waterfalls you will encounter along the way to beautiful Phantom Falls. It is located at the junction of two seasonal creeks, where two waterfalls come together. Ravine Falls is the lower of the two falls, and is the nicest of these two. It drops 71 ft. and the flow in this creek is higher than the others, so it will be flowing better. Still though, all the creeks on Table Mountain must be seen during the rainy season.

Both hikes are only a total of 4.5 miles.

Pack and lunch and enjoy it on top of the falls! Don't forget the sunscreen and camera!

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