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.

July 23, 2012

Hidden Falls in Placer County, CA


*  If you click on a photo, it will enlarge each of them and let you scroll through.  At the end of the article I will post the Wikiloc link for GPS tracks, include a map, and an elevation profile.

Hidden Falls is a waterfall hike made for families!


Difficulty:  Easy-Difficult based on choices.  There is an accessible area paved, some moderate rated trail sections, and difficult sections for those who want challenges.  The link at the bottom of the page has a map of the whole trail system with numerous options.  My GPS only includes the route I took which is moderate-easy.
Distance:  The route posted is 5.7 miles. 
Elevation:  Ascent 1208  Descent 855  This trail is loop style.
Driving Directions:
  • From Highway 80 take the CA-49 exit #119B toward Grass Valley. 
  • Turn left on Atwood.  (If you reach Cottage Drive you've gone .1 miles too far.) 
  • In 1.8 miles make a slight right onto Mount Vernon Road.
  • Go to the left in .6 miles to stay on Mt. Vernon Rd. 
  • In another mile turn left to stay on Mt Vernon Rd. 
  • Turn right on Mears Dr.( but if you reach Hastings Lane you've gone .4 miles too far). 
  • Take the first right onto Mears Place. 
  • You'll see a very large parking area and there are restrooms at the TH.
Notes:  This is a beautiful hike with places for families to stop and play in the water, and finally at the falls there is a large overlook deck to safely take in the view of the waterfall.  Just beyond the overlook deck is a trail down to the creek to an open area to play in and picnic at.  
* This area is for hikers, runners, bicyclists, and equestrians although horses and bikes are limited from some areas.


Wildflowers abound in spring but can be found almost any time.

 This shot typifies the trail you'll be hiking. Fun for kids too!


I like going down to the creek for a snack and splash, especially on a hot day.

WILDFLOWERS!  






 Cross this bridge to follow the trail to go to the falls. 
(There is a trail going straight ahead but this bridge is to your right.)


When you see this fenced area, follow the steps down and follow the trail to the right. 
It takes you to the falls.

 There is a great open area of creek side below the falls just past the deck where you can go get some shade and play in the water, but the trail is narrower and less flat of a hiking surface.

 Kids may like the many lizards they can find here. They are great at camouflaging themselves
on the rocks, but are a shimmery greenish color!


 This view of Hidden Falls is taken from the viewing deck. Just a reminder of how pretty the falls are. The viewing deck has benches all around and is in full sun.



Down at the creek, beyond the falls, you can go down and then to the left
to find some shade and pretty views of the creeks joining.

Looking upstream iinto the canyon appears to be an inviting natural pool
but the "trail" is haphazard that direction. 


There is poison oak although it is generally kept off of the trail.  Use caution if you are allergic.

Elevation graph with specific data below best viewed enlarged by clicking on it:

This is a map of the route I took, but many options exist, both easier and harder ones, longer or shorter. The waterfall is on the farthest left leg of the trail at the red arrow area.



Hidden Falls GPS Wikiloc link
Hidden Falls Regional Park 
Their site has a one page synopsis of the property history and other general information; there is a map at this site of all trail sections, mileage, paved areas, and restrooms.

Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents

Related Articles:
ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District
BLM ~ Bureau of Land Management
Near Auburn, CA
Happy Trails!
Updated 9-2012