Hike the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
Oroville Getaway Artist Outdoor Adventurer

North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

Situated above the city of Oroville, the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, more commonly known as simply Table Mountain, offers up a chance to hike through a truly unique natural area. Formed by ancient lava flows, the underlying basalt rock on the mesa holds water, resulting in spectacular annual wildflower blooms, stunning vernal pools, and dramatic but fleeting waterfalls.

Discover the best of Table Mountain by lacing up and exploring its many trails!

Visit Responsibly

When you visit, make sure to follow Leave No Trace principals—including disposing of waste properly, staying on designated trails, and leaving what you find—to ensure that everyone for years to come can enjoy their visit to Table Mountain!

Get Your Lands Pass

When visiting Table Mountain, a CDFW Lands Pass ($4.58) must be carried by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older. Visitors who are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license in their name are exempt from this requirement. Lands passes may be purchased on-line, by phone at (800) 565-1458, or in-person at locations wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Lands passes cannot be substituted for Wildlife Area Hunting Passes, which are required for adult hunters on Type-A and Type-B wildlife areas.

Parking

Parking is available in a gravel lot on the west side of Cherokee Road. The lot has a limited number of spaces, so please plan to arrive early for the best opportunities to park.

No parking on the pavement is allowed along the paved portion of Cherokee Road, beginning approximately 3.0 miles north of the intersection of Oregon Gulch Road (large parking turnout near the crest of Cherokee Road) to Derrick Road (map). Vehicles parking on the shoulder must be parked completely off the pavement; violators are subject to tow.

Listen In

Get our "Wild & Blooming" Spotify playlist to enjoy on your hike

Phantom Falls

While finding the trail is a little tricky, once you do find it, the hike to Phantom Falls is a fairly easy one. The waterfall runs during the rainy season, and in the spring, wildflowers carpet the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve. There’s no shade, so make sure to wear a hat and sunscreen, and you’ll definitely want to go early to avoid the crowds during peak wildflower season.

From the parking area, follow the trail heading left. When you reach the rockier section of the trail, you will see signs telling you you are leaving the ecological reserve and crossing private land. Just beyond that sign, you will see a barbed wire fence, which has a small passable entryway. The entryway is made of rocks wrapped in wire mesh that act as stepping stones. To cross this fence, you have to step up two steps and back down to pass to the other side. The entryway is narrow due to the posts on either side of you, and may be a bit tricky since the step is fairly steep. You are now on private property, so the trail will not be maintained; explore at your own risk.

After crossing over the fence, look for a stand of trees on your left and follow the trail until you reach an intersection with a sign. The sign shows an arrow pointing right for you to follow towards Ravine Falls (1.0 mile) and Phantom falls (1.5 miles). The next signs might be a little tricky to find, but after walking about a mile, you’ll see another tall sign for Ravine Falls (.2 mile) and Phantom Falls (.5,mile). Start looking for a path leading downhill into the ravine. Depending on what season you go, Ravine Falls might be dried up but there is a clear signage for it when you get there. Then you will make your way up a mild incline and across the rolling hills towards Phantom Falls. Even if Phantom Falls is dry, you’ll know you’ve arrived because of the panoramic views of the canyon.

It's easy to get lost on the cross-country trail, so we recommend downloading the free Avenza Maps app and the Phantom Falls map before your hike so that you can follow the GPS coordinates in real-time on your hike.

Key Info

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Length & Type: 4.2 mile out-and-back

Best Used: November - April

Dogs: Allowed on leash

Trail Map: Phantom Falls Trail Map

Beatson & Phantom Falls Loop

The Beatson and Phantom Falls Loop offers views of not only the aforementioned Phantom Falls, but also four other waterfalls (during the rainy season and early spring, that is). You’ll also get great wildflower views late February through April, and grazing cattle all-year round—just give them space (at least 300 feet), especially the occasional bull. Make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots, as part of the loop has no established trail and thus requires a little cross-country travel.

Key Info

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Length & Type: 6.7 mile loop

Best Used: November - April

Dogs: Allowed on leash

Trail Map: Phantom Falls Trail Map (continue to Beatson Falls and then return to the Phantom Falls Loop trail)

Many Waterfalls Cross-Country Loop

If you’re not willing to get wet and muddy, then the Many Waterfalls Cross-Country Loop is not the trail for you...but then you’d be missing out on a seriously beautiful hike. Taking you around Table Mountain during the rainy season, this loop will have at least nine waterfalls, with 14 flowing within a few days of a major rainstorm and all of them dry during the summer. It’s a fleeting beauty worth seeing. Enjoy the most waterfalls January and February and then the wildflowers February through mid-April. It is easy to get lost on the cross-country trail, so we recommend downloading the free Avenza Maps app and the Many Waterfalls Trail map before your hike so that you can follow the GPS coordinates in real-time on your hike.

Key Info

Trail Difficulty: Difficult

Trail Length & Type: 11.3 mile loop

Best Used: November - April

Dogs: Allowed on leash

Trail Map: Many Waterfalls Cross-Country Loop map

Driving Directions

From Oroville, heading north on Hwy 70 and exit at Grand Ave. (Exit 48). Go east (right) on Grand Ave. for 1 mile. Left on Table Mountain Blvd for a tenth of a mile. Right on Cherokee Road 6.3 miles north to the reserve. Official access is through a small parking lot on the west side of Cherokee Road. From Chico, head south on Hwy 70 and exit at Grand Ave (Exit 48). Continue onto 4th St. and then turn Left onto Grand Ave., and then follow the rest of the directions from above.

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