Very GreatVery GreatVery GreatVery Great   Bassi Falls Easy

Image 1 of 9;
Click arrow to scroll or click image to enlarge
Location: Pollock Pines, Eldorado National Forest, El Dorado County
Stream: Bassi Creek
Alternate Names:

Height: 109 ft.
Access:   hike   dog  
Distance: 1.2 miles (RT)
Elevation: 5400 ft. (-50 ft.)
Season: Apr-Jun
Form:   horsetail
Lat/Long:38.89322, -120.3295
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). A high clearance vehicle is recommended, though I have seen cars drive it.   Bassi Falls pictures for sale; Click to view gallery

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.

Update 5/2016: There is a new trail to Bassi Falls, and it is slightly longer than the easy 0.5 mile hike described here, but it is not difficult. It is two miles one way, well marked, and fairly easy, and begins from Millionaire campground, following the creek up to the big waterfall. When you turn off Ice House Rd, keep going straight past the initial turnoff (which is gated in the winter). There is a big parking area in a quarter mile, or you can drive down from there to the campground. It is a nice hike, and in fact may now be the only option to Bassi Falls. I have a feeling the main road is now permanently gated, not just in winter time, but I am not entirely sure, so I will update this page in the next month or so.

Get Google Maps directions to trailhead

Zoom out on map to see all nearby waterfalls:

Other waterfalls nearby:

Lower Bassi Falls 0.65 miles
Middle Bassi Falls 0.84 miles
Big Silver Creek Falls 1.97 miles
North Fork Big Silver Creek Falls 2.15 miles
South Fork Silver Creek Falls 4.96 miles
Jones Fork Silver Creek Falls 4.99 miles
South Fork Rubicon River Falls 5.10 miles
Upper Bassi Falls 5.11 miles
Lower Gertrude Lake Falls 6.04 miles
Crystal Basin Falls 6.29 miles
McConnell Peak Falls 6.52 miles
Gertrude Lake Falls 6.61 miles
Rocky Basin Creek Falls 6.71 miles
Umpa Lake Falls 6.86 miles
Upper Crystal Basin Falls 6.92 miles
Upper Horseshoe Lake Falls 7.34 miles
Twin Lakes Falls 7.57 miles
Horseshoe Lake Falls 7.77 miles
Upper Gerle Creek Falls 7.80 miles
Gerle Creek Falls 8.31 miles
Jerrett Creek Falls 8.39 miles
Stony Creek Falls 8.64 miles
White Hall Canyon Falls 8.68 miles
Black Rock Falls 8.70 miles
Fry Creek Falls 8.90 miles
Deer Creek Falls 9.39 miles
Mill Creek Falls 9.43 miles
Fontanillis Lake Falls 9.55 miles
Half Moon Lake Falls 9.83 miles
Alder Creek Falls 9.84 miles
Screech Owl Canyon Falls 9.90 miles

High Sierra Waterfalls Home Page

Add Your Comment for Bassi Falls

Date Pic Comment
Sacramento, CA
  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.
Folsom, CA
  Fixed it Mark. Thanks for letting me know.
Don P. Cooney
Roseville, ca
  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!