Hike the Many Waterfalls Cross-Country Loop
Phantom Falls may be the most well-known waterfall at Table Mountain, but there are more waterfalls that that one on the ecological reserve! In fact, during the rainy season, the Many Waterfalls Cross-Country hike will have at least nine waterfalls, with up to 14 flowing within a few days of a major rainstorm. However, their beauty is fleeting—the major ones, including Phantom Falls and Beatson Falls, flow from the first storms in the winter through about April, while others only flow a few days after the big storms. All of them are dry throughout the summer.
If you are lucky and go on a hike after a big rainstorm in March, all the falls will be running and there will be millions of wildflowers carpeting the rocky flats (the entire area will also be very wet, which can make it dangerous to hike, given the muddy, slippery conditions and the many steep cliffs and drop-offs - so wear sturdy shoes with good traction and tread carefully).
Overall, this loop makes for a great location for viewing multiple Northern California waterfalls—all in one spot if you time your trip right.
A CDFW Lands Pass must be carried by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, 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.
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
Trip Tips for Responsible Travel
Dogs must remain on-leash at all times
Trash cans and restrooms are available only at the parking lot, so plan accordingly, and be prepared pick up after yourself and pack out all trash
Stay on established trails, or travel on durable surfaces (like rocks or packed dirt) when off-trail travel is needed
Enjoy the views OF the wildflowers, not IN the wildflowers (don't pick or walk on the wildflowers)
Respect the grazing cattle by staying at least 300 feet away from them at all times.
The wildflower blooms are best late February through April.
Drones are not allowed on the reserve without an appropriate film permit
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.
The road up to Table Mountain is a narrow country road, so drive slowly and be aware of on-coming traffic, crossing animals, and, as you get closer to the reserve's entrance, pedestrian crossing.