Located on the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, Phantom Falls is a seasonal waterfall that flows only during the rainy season and early spring, and earns its name because it disappears during the dry season. Also known as Coal Canyon Falls, Phantom Falls runs off the edge of Coal Canyon and falls 166 feet into a small pool at the bottom. The hike to Phantom Falls is an especially beautiful one during wildflower season, but go any time during the rainy season to enjoy this ephemeral waterfall.
A CDFW Lands Pass must be in possession by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, visitors who are in possession of 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.
Sturdy closed-toe footwear and water bottles are advised when visiting the area. Garbage cans and bathrooms are only available at the parking lot, so plan according and make sure to pack out your trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles.
Removing, collecting or disturbing any natural resources (mineral, plant, animal) is prohibited. Flying drones is also not allowed.
Dogs must be on a leash. Cattle grazing on the reserve is used as a management tool to reduce thatch and non-native grass species to benefit native plants. Do not approach the cattle closer than 300 feet.
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.
Hike to Phantom Falls
Plan your next trip to Table Mountain by reading all about how to get to Phantom Falls and other waterfalls on the ecological reserve.
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.