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.

August 24, 2012

Codfish Creek Falls, River Access, Family Fun

This is an especially fun family day trip.  The 50 foot waterfalls tickle the kids and it is a short, mostly shady, hike.  Then for the heat of the day enjoy the swimming holes back toward the bridge with room to sun in, shade to picnic, and natural pools to swim and fish.  Near Auburn.


The 2.8 mile out and back trail heads downriver along North Fork American River, near Weimar, and ends at the beautiful year round 40-50 foot waterfall and creek. 


Parking is alongside the dirt road that is in car condition this August, 2012. 

Codfish Falls also known as Codfish Creek Falls

is reportedly 40-50 feet high. 

There are large flat boulder areas beside the falls,

great for picnicking in the shade!

The trail has some steep offshoots that take you to the river
but it's well maintained to the falls
and gets morning sun and
afternoon shade. 
I have seen families with all ages of children here.

 The creek flows down to the river and adds
to the pleasant atmosphere for just hanging out.
There is a trail less maintained that heads uphill to
a boulder that two can comfortably sit on and view the falls,
hidden from the visitors below.

Of course, fun wildlife lives back there!

I may not recommend it, but I bushwhacked up the other side of the falls. 
The rocks are slippery and the blackberry vines get prickly!  A person
gives you some perspective on the height of the falls. 
Find Peach Hiker at the falls!

Back at the bridge,

Families can find areas near the shoreline to swim and picnic.

There is plenty of room to get comfortable and cast out some lines. 
The couple is Brandon and Jen. 

We caught a nice trout,

and well, a frog that day!
That's me, Peachy Hiker with my fishing pole enjoying the sun and company!

Get out your poles and fishing gear. 

Pack a picnic and your swimming stuff,

to have a perfect family day!


  • From Highway 80 (east of Auburn),  exit at Weimar Cross Road.

  • Turn right onto Ponderosa Way, heading south. (Stay to the right at Cross Road. )

  • Drive south for 5.8 miles down the canyon.

  • 2.5 miles before the river the road becomes a dirt road that is suitable for most cars at this time. 

  • This is now a fee area.  They are collected by park rangers at the top at the dirt road.  You will see park personnel there and at the river. Carry your fishing license.

To go to the falls,

Start hiking downriver from the bathrooms. Just follow the trail and you'll find the falls. 

To swim and fish, there are quite a few places to get down to the river.  Across the bridge is where we fished and swam.

More hikes for you in this area:

ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District

BLM ~ Bureau of Land Management

Near Auburn, CA

OR:     Trails by Locations
Happy Trails!
edited 8-2012