Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit desovw.org for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit Recreation.gov or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

February 10, 2011

Dutch Creek, Coloma, Waterfalls September 2012

For Johntown and Dutch Creek Waterfalls GPS, maps, and more thorough information, click here.

Upper Dutch Falls on Sept 30, 2012.

The affectionately named "Ancient Lady" southwest of the Upper Dutch Falls 9-2012.


The top of Johntown Falls 9-2012

Take water with you as there is none very appealing to try to purify!

Dutch Creek Trail needs serious maintenance work to become safe, and beware of the poison oak.  It is everywhere.  It is no less toxic to the allergic. 

In spring, here is what you may have to look forward to if we can get some volunteers to work on the trail:
The photo below is Johntown Falls at Coloma, CA. photographed by this blogger who lead this hiking day with a Meetup.com. hiking club.  The falls were glorious and the hikers equally enjoyable! Weather was warm and mild, the water flow was gorgeous, and the company exquisite!


The next one is a shot of the trail as it enters the woods. Looks pretty docile, huh?


A walk in the park, so to speak.


This is one of our feisty hikers...none too intimidated as the trail
becomes more rugged and less park-like.


These are more of our fantastic group with high spirits for the day, waiting to see what is in store.


     Some took this side trail down to see the Lower Dutch Creek Falls that sometimes forms two separate falls, side by side, that are dropping around, guessing here, 10 feet. At about this time, one of our hikers got hurt, and that makes this a good time to advise good hiking shoes, and for hikers to beware of the short steeper sections of this trail. It is not maintained in any way, and you'll find yourself having to go over or around obstacles like rock outcroppings or tree falls. I might as well mention there is poison oak around here too. At some times of the year it is leafless, so be careful what you grab. Stay on "the trail" and I don't recommend shorts or short sleeves if you are allergic.


When we reached Dutch Creek Falls and Johntown Creek Falls some members took a nice break, while the group I affectionately call the "Bushwhacking Maniacs" climbed higher and closer to the falls and then on up to overlook both falls from as high as we could get.


The trail to the falls is narrow, occasionally steep, but good solid tread, and do-able.  For people thrown off by viewing a steep hillside from a narrow path, this might just be too scary.



These are Bushwhackers getting closer to the falls.


Following a few minutes photographing and enjoying the falls' spray, we headed UP through loose rock, through dry weeds and stickers, over boulders, to the top!

Look, no hands!  Another hint.  Watch and listen for rattlesnakes.


This is the top of Johntown Creek Falls; the first photograph on this entry is the same falls.


From the top, we had excellent views of the entire Dutch Creek Falls.
It was worth every sticker I brought home!


Here is the view downstream of both falls. Can you find all the poison oak
Again, take precautions because it IS there!



Here are your blog writer and photographer with a fellow bushwhacker who wore, note, motorcycle pants on this adventure!
Some photos included were courtesy of our hiking club members.
This was a most excellent day!

Directions:

  • Go to Coloma on CA 49 between I-80 and Highway 50; pay for parking at the parking lot kiosk.  
  • Walk over the one lane bridge. (You can't miss it as the town is VERY small.) 
  • Turn right on Bayne and follow the paved road to the locked green gate on the left across from the house downhill by the river. It is also identifiable by small signs like rattlesnake warnings, says "State Park", and is a regular locked forestry green gate you climb over or through.
  • The trail is single file, but usually visible. It is not suitable for beginners or less fit hikers.
It leads through the grassy meadow, into the trees, and then has some steep ups and downs, but they are short. There is some brush, a couple of tree falls you have to climb over, under, or around.  The trail is hard wet soil mostly.  Hiking pole(s) are handy balancing tools. If I can give any advice, it is wear GOOD hiking shoes. Follow the trail to the falls! Have an adventurous and happy day!
Latitude: 38-47'57'' N

Longitude: 120-52'54'' W
Thank you for checking in! There is another review of this hike on this blog dated April of 2010, and has some other information, and beautiful photos showing the differences you can come across.

Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents

updated 10-2012 with photos and cautions!
Updated with spelling correction, and poison oak information.