Hike to Bassi Falls
Lake Tahoe › Bassi Falls Trailhead
Added by Beth Young
Scenic views of a powerful waterfall, granite boulders and towering pinesFew crowdsPhotographic possibilities abound, including the foliage and boulders at the base of the falls1.2 mile hike250 foot elevation gain
109' tall Bassi Falls is located in the Crystal Basin area of the El Dorado National Forest. These gorgeous falls at peak Springtime flow crash over enormous boulders and the water sheets over huge, flat slabs of granite. It is located off a rural, pot-holed dirt road (high clearance vehicles recommended) . Afternoon is a preferable time to photograph here, since the light will be hitting the falls, and if you're lucky, you'll witness rainbows as well.
On Highway 50, east of Pollock Pines, head north on Ice House Road for approximately 15 miles, until you cross Big Silver Creek, east of Union Valley Reservoir. Turn right onto the first dirt road, heading left at the first fork. After approximately 1.5 miles, the dirt road terminates to a dead end parking area where the trail is clearly marked, and you will hear the powerful falls from the trailhead approximately 1/2 mile away!
There is also a steep climb to the top of the falls, to (carefully) witness Bassi Creek hurtling over the edge.
- Polarized Filter
- Water resistant footwear and clothing
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
The great thing about the area is there are multiple parking areas and multiple trail heads. This leads to accommodating more people which does take some of the quaintness out of the hike, but the great part is a few of those parking lots allow for a bit longer of a hike. If you forego the last left hand turn and stick straight once you turn off Ice House Rd, take that until you reach the dead end and there is parking there or down the hill at a second parking lot. These lots have trail heads for a 2 mile hike to the falls, which we loved so much more than the small hike the author talks about. The longer hike lets you see more of the falls that are downstream of the main falls. The hike is easy with all elevation changes being gradual. We went in July and it was 80* out, so out water packs helped out immensely, but the ability to stop at multiple points on the river and stick your head/feet in really helped, and added to the hike. The falls are probably best to see in the April/May timeframe as the water was a little low today, but nonetheless, still a fun, worthwhile hike
Added by Beth Young
I'm a licensed architect specializing in healthcare facilities, with a strong passion for capturing the beauty of the natural world. Nature photography in particular connects me more intimately to the nuances of weather, light and the changing seasons, and taught me how to really "see". I'm continuously striving to learn new things about photography every single day. I recently became a contributing photographer to the Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals, which encourages the use of nature photography to alleviate stress and anxiety in patients, their families and caregivers, a cause that's near and dear to my heart. I grew up in NY state but now reside in the Sacramento, California area, and enjoy capturing images of the rugged beauty of Northern California. I can be found on Instagram @optimal_focus or check out my photography at www.optimalfocusphotography.com/Follow
More Adventures Nearby
Photograph the Lupine at Lake Forest Beach
Lake Tahoe / Lake Forest Beach
A quick walk through Lake Forest Beach in Tahoe City, California provides unparalleled opportunities to photograph expansive fields of lupine.
Visit the Bridgeport Covered Bridge
Lake Tahoe / Bridgeport Covered Bridge Parking
The famed and picturesque Bridgeport Covered Bridge, spanning the width of the Yuba River, was originally built in 1862.