Unincorporated Outdoor Adventurer Hiking Trails

Hike to Curtain Falls

About 45 min­utes north­east of Oroville, along the Mid­dle Fork of the Feath­er Riv­er, is Cur­tain Falls, made of gran­ite smoothed, over the mil­lenia, into a beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al water slide. How­ev­er, as beau­ti­ful as the des­ti­na­tion is, the jour­ney get­ting there is just as, if not more so, chal­leng­ing, so this is rec­om­mend­ed for con­fi­dent, sea­soned hik­ers only.

The trail­head starts eas­i­ly enough, with views of gran­ite boul­ders that mim­ic some of the best of the Yosemite scenery, but soon turns into 31 switch­backs down the mountain.

When you reach the bot­tom of the ravine, you’ll be reward­ed with sev­er­al pools — some calm, some rush­ing — carved out of the gran­ite and filled with clear and sparkling green water, unique to the area due the com­bi­na­tion of the water’s min­er­al con­tent and granite.

Cur­tain Falls prop­er are about a quar­ter mile upstream from where the trail ends at the riv­er, and you can see them from the trail’s end. Less con­fi­dent swim­mers should stay here and enjoy the cool waters of the riv­er. Strong swim­mers can con­tin­ue on, work­ing their way through the boul­ders along the river­bank until they reach the spot where they will have to swim across the riv­er to final­ly make it to Cur­tain Falls. There, they’ll be reward­ed with the nat­ur­al water slide made of smooth gran­ite and emer­ald-col­ored waters.

Enjoy the waters either way, then rest, refu­el and rehy­drate, and leave your­self plen­ty of time to make the return trip. You’ll return with a sto­ry to tell and remem­ber forever.

Trip Tips

May and Sep­tem­ber are good times of the year for this hike, since it’s warm with­out being scorching

The water will be COLD at any time of the year

Pack twice the water you think you will need, then pack anoth­er three bot­tles. Hav­ing a Life Straw or iodine just in case wouldn’t hurt

DO NOT go out in the heat, because the sun against all the exposed gran­ite is merciless.

Get start­ed ear­ly in the day

Tell some­one where you’re going and when you’re expect­ed back, then check back in when you get home.


From Oroville, Cal­i­for­nia, take Hwy. 162 towards Berry Creek. Turn right on Bald Rock Rd., and fol­low this to a signed dirt road for about nine miles to The Dome Trail (Road 21N51Y – this is actu­al­ly on the sign­post). Turn left about 2.7 miles down this road (also marked) and park at the trailhead.

*Cred­it to Gyp­sy Mamas for most of the infor­ma­tion found in this piece