Phantom falls aka Coal Canyon falls is a small hidden spot of startling beauty located on North Table Mountain in Oroville, California.

Dropping off a 135 ft cliff is a very well hidden waterfall with no trails leading to it. But if you do find it, it is an epic natural wonder.It is best to come here in the winter months, after a lot of rain. But it is also well worth coming in the spring when the wildflowers on Table Mountain are flourishing.

When you arrive at the trailhead, you will see that there is indeed no trail at all. You need to traverse cross country in a north-west direction to reach Phantom Falls. A GPS or compass is highly recommended for this hike. If you do not have one, it will be very difficult to find your way cross-country without any landmarks. Essentially, you want to follow an old fence line on the right until you reach the top of Ravine and Ravine Twin Falls, cross those creeks, around the end of another old fence, follow that fence line for awhile, until you finally cut over to the Phantom Falls viewpoint (note: I had to "cut over" or as some people would describe as "trespass" for approximately 5 minutes in order to reach Phantom falls). You won't be able to see the waterfall from a distance as there are a lot of rolling hills throughout the entire hike.

There are plenty of other waterfalls on North and South Table Mountain as well. You will pass three of them en route to Phantom Falls. All of these waterfalls on Table Mountain have very small drainage, so they will be flowing well only after quite a lot of rain. If you want to see any waterfalls during the summer months, unfortunately you may be disappointed.

Expect to see a lot of grazing cattle, they are generally safe but you'll definitely want to give the occasional bull some space.

Directions: From Oroville on Hwy 70, take exit 48 (Grand Ave.). Follow Grand Ave. east for 1.0 miles to Table Mountain Blvd. Turn left for 0.2 miles, then right on Cherokee Rd. Drive 6.3 miles on Cherokee Rd. to the unmarked parking area on the left (you'll see a green cattle gate).  

Coordinates:

  • Parking Lot: 39.595923, -121.541736
  • Phantom Falls: 39.61041, -121.56063

Pack List

  • Water proof boots
  • Rain coat depending on weather
  • GPS or compass
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 6.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 850 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Not in the right time

I should have went on March or April.The waterfalls was almost drained.

Cool

Way crowded on weekends. Pretty.

GORGEOUS VIEWS!

This hike is great all year-round; definitely try going when it's rainy. I've been a handful of times and the time it was raining was by far the BEST!


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