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.

June 12, 2011

Ruck-A-Chucky Towards Ford's Bar

I took Foresthill Road to Drivers Flat Road and followed it down to Ruck-A-Chucky where there is a campground and a day use parking area.  There is a whopping $10 fee!  I paid it this once.  My starting point was 38.58.013N  and 120.57.113W  The hike is about 4.5 miles, moderate to difficult.

One of the remnants you'll see along the way.
"It's not in bloom yet--it's in bud. It's Gum plant, Grindelia camporum, a native wildflower
. When it opens, it will reveal a yellow flower reminiscen
t of dandelion. The gum is thought to deter ants from damaging the flower or stealing nectar (without pollinating)."  Tato

Paradise Falls start 100 feet above the bottom of the creek.  Hard to see in the photo, and not completely visible from top to bottom either.  I hiked upward and saw less; there is no trail and its rocky, steep, wet, and another "machete" sort of hike if you climb the hillside.

"Party animals"

Sunbathing butterfly.  Groups of several varieties floated playfully around, while others competed for shade and water.

I climbed this "path/deer trail" to go back up to the road.  It was dicey!  Steep, very few rocks or roots to grip, dirt that would crumble in some places, and stickers for free!

I could hear these rapids for quite a distance before the trees gave way for a full and wide open view!
Not only were they thunderous, but ran for a long stretch!
Zoom lenses were made for moments like these!

I loved whitewater rafting with a guide, but never saw a view like this!  It could give me the jitters to think of riding through them!
Upriver not only calmed down, but became placid and still looking, and the thunder faded.
There are a few picnic tables in shade available to rest in.  Beautiful settings and near enough to the water to still be cooler than the sunny stretches of road and trail.
This is the road described as best suited for high centered vehicles.  In all but one area, my little car could negotiate it, but all it takes is one area to stop you.  I parked near the Ruck-A-Chucky raft pull out area.  There are port a potties there, too.

Behind the tree, you can see remnants of an old rock wall.
This was my parting view of the canyon for the day and with the setting sun, it was magnificent!