About Lower Ravine Falls
Lower Ravine Falls was a roughly 60ft waterfall on Ravine Creek representing a quieter alternative to the much busier Phantom Falls experience in the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.
In fact, I’d argue that the appeal of doing this detour was to get away from the crowds of people on the other trail (mostly appreciating wildflowers and the falls while not really social distancing nor wearing masks).
Granted, visiting this particular waterfall involved a roughly 1.4-mile out-and-back detour away from the Phantom Falls Trail, which would add to the already 5-mile round-trip Phantom Falls hike.
That’s the main reason why it was a much quieter experience as I’d imagine most people weren’t interested in extending their hike for another smaller waterfall.
In any case, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth doing this detour, the Phantom Falls Trail passes by Ravine Falls, which is further upstream.
So if that waterfall has decent flow, then it might be worth pursuing the Lower Ravine Falls.
That said, unlike the Ravine Falls, which allowed me to appreciate its bottom, I was only able to appreciate the Lower Ravine Falls from its brink.
From there, I had the option of taking a connecting trail back towards Hollow Falls and Beatson Falls (the latter being 1.2 miles away), or I could backtrack to the Phantom Falls Trail and rejoin the fray.
Anyways, in order to reach the Lower Ravine Falls, the shortest and easiest approach would be to follow the Phantom Falls Trail for the first 2.2 miles to a signposted trail junction.
At this junction, that’s where a sign pointing the way to Lower Ravine Falls started and indicated it was another 0.7-mile away.
Just doing Lower Ravine Falls as an out-and-back hike would be roughly 5.6 miles round-trip, but if you’re already here, you mind as well finish the hike and experience Phantom Falls for a minimum of 6.4 miles round-trip.
Allow yourself at least 3-4 hours in total to experience these waterfalls (and possibly wildflowers along the way).
Lower Ravine 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.
Lower Ravine 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.
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