Hollow Falls

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve / Oroville, California, USA

About Hollow Falls

Hiking Distance: 0.8-mile round-trip
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2021-04-09
Date last visited: 2021-04-09

Waterfall Latitude: 39.5952
Waterfall Longitude: -121.55258

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Hollow Falls was a roughly 160ft waterfall on Campbell Creek cascading off a rounded cliff into a secluded and shaded ravine.

What I found to be most memorable about this waterfall was the apparent presence of frogs in its plunge pool (as well as further upstream along its creek).

Phantom_Falls_030_iPhone_04092021 - Hollow Falls
Hollow Falls

Even though I wasn’t able to explicitly see any of these elusive frogs, I could definitely hear them as long as I stood still long enough to let them think that no one was around.

In addition to the frogs, I found Hollow Falls to be a worthwhile deviation from the Phantom Falls hike because it was a mere 0.8-mile round-trip detour.

So even if you’re not up for the longer hike to Phantom Falls, you at least have this option of exploring a waterfall that’s much closer to the trailhead.

Besides, the presence of wildflowers near the trailhead to get here would also allow you to experience the Nature’s palette in the Spring.

Hiking to Hollow Falls

Phantom_Falls_027_04092021 - The Hollow Falls Trail left the Phantom Falls Trail at this signed junction roughly a half-mile from the trailhead
The Hollow Falls Trail left the Phantom Falls Trail at this signed junction roughly a half-mile from the trailhead

The Hollow Falls spur leaves the Phantom Falls Trail at about a half-mile from the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve parking lot.

Then, keeping left at the well-signed spur, the trail skirted alongside Campbell Creek (which was already harboring croaking frogs during my early April 2021 late afternoon visit).

Although there were some tricky basalt stretches where the continuation of the trail wasn’t obvious and there was some mild dropoff exposure, there were steel poles set up as sort of trail cairns.

At about 0.3-mile from the trail junction, I reached another signed trail junction where the Hollow Falls Trail switched back and descended into the ravine.

Phantom_Falls_304_04092021 - Following the narrow and sloping Hollow Falls Trail on basalt towards another trail junction 0.3-mile from the signed trail junction leaving the Phantom Falls Trail. The ravine to the right was where the Hollow Falls spilled into
Following the narrow and sloping Hollow Falls Trail on basalt towards another trail junction 0.3-mile from the signed trail junction leaving the Phantom Falls Trail. The ravine to the right was where the Hollow Falls spilled into

At the bottom of the descent, the trail traversed the rocky Campbell Creek, and then picked up a trail on the opposite side, where the final 0.1-mile of the trail went upstream to the base of Hollow Falls.

However, if I was so inclined, I could also hike about 1.5 miles downstream to Beatson Falls for a longer optional excursion to a waterfall that far fewer people visit compared to Phantom Falls.

Anyways, aside from the late afternoon mosquitoes spawning in the calm plunge pool where frog sounds echoed at the head of the ravine, I really enjoyed this detour.

Indeed, I recommend extending a visit to Phantom Falls to at least experience the Hollow Falls, especially since it only requires a 1.8-mile round-trip out-and-back hike (or 0.8-mile of hiking to tack onto the Phantom Falls hike).


Hollow Falls resides in a combination of the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve and some private lands near Oroville in Butte County, California. It is administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Phantom_Falls_002_04092021 - Hollow Falls started from the same trailhead as that of Phantom Falls
Phantom_Falls_003_04092021 - You have to pay for a CDFW land pass to visit the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
Phantom_Falls_027_04092021 - At about 1/2-mile on the Phantom Falls Trail, it reaches this signed trail junction. It's here that I'd have to keep left to go to Hollow Falls (the right path goes to Phantom Falls)
Phantom_Falls_302_04092021 - Going downstream along Campbell Creek towards Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_305_04092021 - Context of the Hollow Falls Trail with the waterfall tumbling into the ravine
Phantom_Falls_309_04092021 - Looking down into Hollow Falls while surrounded by wildflowers
Phantom_Falls_311_04092021 - Following the trail signs pointing the way to Hollow Falls (instead of taking one of the false trails leading to dangerous scrambles into the ravine)
Phantom_Falls_314_04092021 - Descending into the ravine towards Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_315_04092021 - Context of crossing the rocky Campbell Creek towards a trail leading behind me to Beatson Falls or upstream towards Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_317_04092021 - Approaching the base of Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_318_04092021 - Looking at the secluded context of Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_336_04092021 - Another look at the shaded confines of Hollow Falls and its calm frog- and mosquito-populated plunge pool
Phantom_Falls_029_iPhone_04092021 - Looking at the full drop of Hollow Falls as the afternoon sun's shadows continued to engulf it
Phantom_Falls_034_iPhone_04092021 - On the way back from Hollow Falls, I checked out this tiny intermediate waterfall on Campbell Creek where frogs were also croaking
Phantom_Falls_340_04092021 - After leaving Hollow Falls, I did have the option of keeping right to head another 1.5 miles to Beatson Falls instead of climbing back up on the left to return to the Phantom Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_341_04092021 - Going back across the dropoff-exposed basalt section of the Hollow Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_343_04092021 - Continuing on the return hike back from Hollow Falls
Phantom_Falls_344_04092021 - Going past one of the steel poles, which acted as trail cairns on the Hollow Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_347_04092021 - Looking upstream at Campbell Creek on the way back to the Phantom Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_355_04092021 - Making it back to the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve Parking Lot to end my little Hollow Falls excursion

Hollow Falls shares the same trailhead as that of Phantom Falls.

So see that page for driving directions.

For more geographical context, Oroville was about 70 miles (roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes drive) north of Sacramento, 94 miles (90 minutes drive) south of Redding, 152 miles (2.5 hours drive) north of San Francisco, 151 miles (3 hours drive) west of South Lake Tahoe, 184 miles (3 hours drive) north of San Jose, and 451 miles (7 hours drive) north of Los Angeles.

Find A Place To Stay


Examining the surrounding basalt cliffs and the Hollow Falls until frogs started making noise towards the end

Getting the full experience while looking at Hollow Falls

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Trip Planning Resources

Nearby Accommodations


Tagged with: north table mountain ecological reserve, oroville, chico, campbell creek, wildflowers, cows

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.