I strongly recommend going to Bassi Falls early in the spring,
during snow run-off (late April through May). If you go during the summer, there will not be much of a waterfall left. But in the spring it is unbelievable. If you have not seen Bassi Falls at peak flow, you absolutely have to make the trip out to see it. Bassi Creek hurtles 109 ft. over a granite cliff, crashing over and through many large rocks. It is simply an awesome display of power and force.
It is an easy 10 minute walk from the parking area to the falls.
There is now an official, maintained trail leading to Bassi Falls.
It is very easy to follow, though once the trail reaches
an open area, it becomes indistinct crossing over the granite rock.
A line of rocks has been made so it is fairly easy to
continue following the trail to the waterfall.
It is not hard to find the falls anyway, because you can clearly hear it,
and eventually you will see it from a distance away.
This is a fairly popular area, so you probably will not be alone here, unless you come during the week.
When you reach the base of Bassi Falls, you will be treated to
an awesome view of the entire 109 ft. cascade. Later in the summer,
there is really not much to see, as Bassi Creek becomes a
mere fragment of its former self. There
is a trail leading to the top of the falls, and I do recommend going up there if the creek is flowing strong. At the
top, you can stand at the brink of the falls and get an awesome view of the
creek hurtling over the falls. There is also a fabulous set of slides above the falls, as the creek descends rapidly down to the top of the waterfall. It is an incredible force of nature. But be very careful up there. If you fall in the creek, it is certain death if you go over the waterfall. Also, the trail to the top of the falls is not easy, as it ascends up a steep granite rock section. Going back down is quite tricky and potentially dangerous. Read my disclaimer.
Bassi Falls is also a neat place to visit in the winter, although the water flow is not nearly as
spectacular as in the spring.
The waterfall was still nice to see, but the best part is the
experience of hiking here in the snow.
Some things you need to know if you plan on going to Bassi Falls
in the winter. Firstly, the forest road (12N32A) off Ice House Rd.
will be snowed in, so you will have to hike through the
snow from Ice House Rd. This adds 1.7 miles (1 way) to the hike.
Snowshoes or skis are definitely recommended. Secondly,
there was nowhere to park on Ice House Rd. I had to find a spot
about a half-mile away where we could park safely off the main road.
This added an additional 0.5 miles (1 way) to the hike. It was
well worth the effort, though.
In May 2007, I had a fun experience here as I led
Brian Hickey from KCRA CHANNEL 3 here to see Bassi Falls.
He was doing a story on waterfalls in the Sacramento
area, and interviewed me and videotaped me as I took photos of the
falls. My 5 minutes of fame (more like 2 minutes, actually).
You can see the video here.
One final note: Sunset is certainly
the best time to visit and photograph Bassi Falls, as you will get
the warm light shining on the falls at the end of the day. In the morning, the sun comes up right behind the falls and hits it early.
Thank you to my friend Beatrisa the Trailscout for helping me
locate this waterfall.
Get Google Maps directions to trailhead
Zoom out on map to see all nearby waterfalls:
| Rapids above Bassi Falls
|| Bassi Falls in winter
Bassi Falls from the brink
||Location: Pollock Pines, Eldorado National Forest, El Dorado County
Stream: Bassi Creek
Height: 109 ft.
Distance: 1.2 miles (RT)
Elevation: 5400 ft. (-50 ft.)
Directions:From Hwy #50 about 20 miles east of Placerville, turn left (north) onto Ice House Rd (Forest Road 3). Drive 15.9 miles on Ice House Rd. to Union Valley Reservoir. Turn right onto an unmarked dirt road (Road 12N32A), just after crossing the bridge over Big Silver Creek (opposite Big Silver group camp). Drive 0.2 miles to a junction and turn left. Then drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road (total 1.7 miles along the dirt road). The last section of this road is extremely rough now.
Other waterfalls nearby:
Add Your Comment for Bassi Falls
||We almost missed it,we fellowed the directions but there is one missleading part on the end (as well as other websites that copy and paste the same) After you get on the dirt road, for 0.2 miles make your left (just as the direction says) but when you reach 0.8 miles, there really is no right turn, Another wedsite (it took visiting 7 websites before they claiflied the directing by saying "CONTINUE" on for another 0.7 miles to the tailhead. We first tried to go right to quikly find out it was NOT a road and saw signs "no tresspassing" as well as "NO HUNTING" but we saw hunters coming out anyway.|
||Fixed it Mark. Thanks for letting me know.|
Don P. Cooney
||A great waterfall with easy access. We went twice, with the roaring fall and without. Without it has swimming pools as you climb up..we have the pics of the beauty! Thank you Leon for this site and your time! |