Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

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

May 30, 2011

Black Hole of Calcutta Falls Hike

  • Take Highway 80 to Auburn following signs to Highway 49.  The road is curvy just as you leave Auburn, and along the way you will see cars parked in turnouts. 
  • Cross the river at the first bridge, following the sign towards Cool and Coloma. 
  • Just after crossing the river there is a green forestry gate, closed and locked, on your right.  Park in this area, preferable at a 45 degree angle, backed in for easy exit, and leaving room for more cars to park. 
  • The other option is to drive a bit further and on the left is a small paid parking with an outhouse at that trail head, then walk back to the Confluence trail head. 
  • Walk around the gate and as you approach the smaller old quarry bridge, there is a sign pointing to Auburn or to the "Training Hill".  For this hike, go towards Auburn.

Bees were all around the abundant blackberry blooms.
This is one of the many side trails down to the river, not too hard to negotiate.
These are rocky or sandy spots secluded somewhat by rocky outcroppings, and thank goodness, since I am throwing out the knowledge that you go here at your own risk.  It is a reportedly a favorite nude sunbathing area for guys, and they had no respect in general for clothed peoples' sensitivities. I saw many people with youngsters hiking the area, mostly back uphill, and none staying by the river.

These were about the size of a pencil eraser!

This little gem stood alone beside the main trail towards Auburn.

The bright and thorny Milk Thistles were in full bloom!

The view from one of the small trails down to the water.
Another side trail to the water with a very small runoff crossing.

Here was a secluded resting spot where the views were nice, and I spent a while trying fruitlessly to take photos of the birds swooping over the water.
The water flow at Black Hole of Calcutta Falls 
was surprisingly low since we just had the T-storm!
The purple blooming bushes I told you about last time are withering now, but the color intensity you see below is natural with no photo edits made!

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edit spelling 1/5/2018