The lava flows
created the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve elevated mesa. Here you can
enjoy the beautiful vistas of green grassland, spring wildflowers, impressive waterfalls,
lava cliffs and sessional pools.
provide few hiking options that do not involved with mountain climbing and with
Visiting here can
be an excellent half a day trip if you are in the area.
Located 7 miles
north of the city of Oroville on a sideroad by the name of Cherokee Rd.
Use google map
with the destination: Parking lot for Phantom Falls.
Due note 2: Each visitor
to who is 16 years of age or older is required to carry a daily (1 day) or
annual lands pass while on the property. Visitors who are carrying their own
valid California hunting or fishing license are exempt from the requirement.
Due note 3: The road leading
to Table Mountain is winding and narrow country road, drive slowly !
Due note 4: There is a
large parking lot but during late winter and spring months it is getting full
early morning. Come as early as you can, if you do not find a parking there are
only few other parking spots available on Cherokee Road, park outside the road
and do not violate no-parking signs.
Due note 5: Potable water
and trash receptacles are not available at the site.
Due note 6: There are restrooms
in the parking lot.
Due note 7: There is no
shade along the hike, and it is expose to wind and rain.
Due note 8: Trails are not
maintained by CDFW and may cross onto private property and grazing land.
Due note 9: This is a
cuttle grazing area, stay within a safe distance from the cows and do not pass
between cow and here calf.
Due note 10: Dogs must be
on a leash.
Due note 11: The land was
acquired by the Department in 1993 to preserve the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal
Pools habitat type and sensitive species.
Due note 12: Camping is not
allowed, Fires of any kind are not allowed including fireworks, Drones are
At late winter
and early spring this is a premier wildflower viewing, when we visit here early
summer it was all dry and yellow.
We enjoy the
easy hike, but it is not something I recommend doing, it can be very hot and
there are no water flowing in the waterfalls.
We only went to
Phantom Falls and back, it was hot and all was dry so we decided not to do the
7 mile loop hike.
ancient lava flows that created the large mesa towering over the central valley
near the city of Oroville. This large and flat table mesa ends sharply on its
west side with 200ft cliffs and there are few canyons cutting the basalt rocks
and creating canyons and waterfalls.
We came here early
summer (June) so it was already hot and dry.
We decided not
to do the 7-mile loop hike but rather go to Phantom Falls and back.
The hike start
from the parking lot, after crossing the first shallow creek the trail split, you
can go straight through the fields following the general direction with not so
marked trail or keep walking near the fence (on the right side of the fence) until
you will reach a clear wide trail heading to the right.
reconnect after about 0.8 mile.
the clear trail in the general direction northwest.
After 1.2 miles
from the parking lot, you will reach the viewing point over Ravine Creek. Enjoy
the view of the creek below you, from here the trail turn left. Walk over the metal
bar and follow the trail down into the canyon.
When the trail
reach the canyon floor there is a large waterfall on your right.
When we visit
here it was almost completely dry.
The trail turn
left, cross the creek, and climb on the other side of the canyon.
follow the main trail until you will reach large trail junction, here turn left.
north until you will reach the cliff edge where is the best viewing point on Phantom
parking lot to this point it is 2.1 miles hike.
You can also
take the trail on your right that will lead you to the top of the falls.
viewpoint you can see the deep and wide Coal Canyon stretching straight to the
west. The 300ft tall basalt walls of the canyon are impressive.
When we were
here the falls were almost dry.
the view, we went back to the parking lot.
Overall, it was
a 4-mile hike, and we did it in 2 hours of easy walking.
You can also do
a longer 7.5-mile-long loop hike that combines Phantom Falls with Beatson Falls.
We visit here
during the summer months, but I know that I will visit here again when all will
be green with flowers and water flowing in the waterfalls.