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.

October 01, 2012

Coloma Waterfalls In September 2012 vs Spring

A glimpse of the top of waterless Johntown Falls in September 2012.

Update: October 2012: Conditions are hot, dry, stickery, and trail conditions are extremely poor. I would not take children back toward the falls. Not only is it hazardous, full of invisible poison oak, but also any more pools normally worth getting to have dried up to wet spots. The sitting water is mossy and brown. Worst downside of all, no waterfalls!!!! Dry as a bone.

Upper Dutch Falls on September 30, 2012.

The affectionately named "Ancient Lady"west of the Upper Dutch Falls September, 2012.

Ancient Lady in May 2012 with a glimpse of Upper Dutch Falls to the left.

Upper Dutch Creek Falls in late April, 2010

Johntown Falls in Coloma, CA Taken in April, 2010

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

There is no foothold here and quite a stretch from "level" ground to grabbing the biggest rock and hoping you don't fall.  It is slippery and steep.  You can grab the tree branches to pull yourself up, but it is risky!  Going down is another vertical episode.  AT YOUR OWN RISK FOR SURE!

Dutch Creek Trail needs serious maintenance work to become safe, and beware of the poison oak you can barely see now. It is everywhere, but leafless or with little white balls, but bare branches. It is no less toxic to the allergic.

This was a suffocatingly hot difficult day!  I vote for staying by the river to play until we get some rain. But in case you are so determined:
Coloma is between I-80 and Highway 50 on Highway 49. 
  • Go to Coloma, 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 visible. Dry brown knee height stickers crowd the trail.

Advisories to hike to the creek and waterfalls:
The trail is single file all the way. It leads through the dry, weedy, stickery fields, 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 dirt mostly and has a blanket of very dry slippery leaves I swept away for safer footing.  Hiking pole(s) are handy balancing tools, but cumbersome when you have to hang on to something to get around something else! If I can give any advice, it is wear GOOD hiking shoes; take water and snacks. 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.

Other hikes near this area that you may be interested in:

BLM ~ Bureau of Land Management
Near Coloma, CA

Peachy Hiker's Table of Contents
CA State Parks
ASRA ~ Auburn State Recreation District
October, 2012
 Happy Trails!