Lower Ravine Falls

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve / Oroville, California, USA

About Lower Ravine Falls


Hiking Distance: 5.6 miles round-trip
Suggested Time: about 2.5-3 hours

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

Waterfall Latitude: 39.60338
Waterfall Longitude: -121.57144

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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).

Phantom_Falls_152_04092021 - Lower Ravine Falls
Lower Ravine Falls

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.

Phantom_Falls_065_04092021 - If (Upper) Ravine Falls is flowing, then it might be worth pursuing the Lower Ravine Falls
If (Upper) Ravine Falls is flowing, 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.

Phantom_Falls_136_04092021 - On the trail to the Lower Ravine Falls, there is this narrow opening in the fencing that I had to squeeze through among some very dry and fire-scarred trees
On the trail to the Lower Ravine Falls, there is this narrow opening in the fencing that I had to squeeze through among some very dry and fire-scarred trees

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).

Authorities

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.

Phantom_Falls_002_04092021 - Lower Ravine 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_067_04092021 - At about 1.7 miles on the Phantom Falls Trail, it will pass before the Ravine Falls. If it has decent flow, then it might be worth considering extending the hike to visit the Lower Ravine Falls further downstream
Phantom_Falls_088_04092021 - Approaching a signed trail junction leading to one of the Phantom Falls Overlook and the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_132_04092021 - Following the spur trail going towards the Lower Ravine Falls, which seemed to be more fire-affected than the Phantom Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_135_04092021 - Continuing on the very open and sun-exposed trail to the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_138_04092021 - One of the signs I encountered as I was headed to the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_141_04092021 - Descending the narrow loose-basalt-rock trail towards the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_142_04092021 - Looking back up at a pair of hikers going up towards the Phantom Falls Trail. They were the first people I saw on this detour for the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_146_04092021 - Continuing to go past some fire-scarred trees on the way down to the Lower Ravine Falls
Phantom_Falls_149_04092021 - Looking down at the entirety of the Lower Ravine Falls from the brink
Phantom_Falls_154_04092021 - Another couple about to cross Ravine Creek. Clearly they were discerning hikers because hardly anybody went this way
Phantom_Falls_155_04092021 - After having my fill of Lower Ravine Falls, I then had to go back uphill to regain the Phantom Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_156_04092021 - Continuing uphill past some fire-scarred trees on the way back up to the Phantom Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_158_04092021 - Continuing up the narrow ascending trail back up to the Phantom Falls Trail from the Lower Ravine Falls brink
Phantom_Falls_161_04092021 - Looking across Coal Canyon towards a flat plateau on the opposite side from the Lower Ravine Falls Trail
Phantom_Falls_165_04092021 - Context of some wildflowers blooming before part of the Phantom Falls in the distance after having had my fill of the Lower Ravine Falls


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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Checking out some basalt cliffs in the distance before looking down from the brink of the Lower Ravine Falls

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Tagged with: north table mountain ecological reserve, oroville, chico, gold run, ravine falls, ravine creek, wildflowers, cows



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