Codfish Waterfall Hike


The Codfish Creek Trail leads you to the fantastic (even in this drought) Codfish waterfall! Though getting to the trailhead can be quite a journey, this hike is quite enjoyable for most any age!

DSC_1893Why we love it: The 3+ mile hike winds along the North Fork American River for about half of the hike. Along the way we saw several people fishing and there’s great access to get to the water (to throw rocks, take a swim, or just put your feet in). The trail turns once you reach Codfish Creek, where it turns upstream and heads to the waterfall, a lovely cascade of about 50 feet. We also loved the side hike up to the top of the waterfall, but only attempt if you’re fully confident in everyone’s ability to take it on.

Exploring the lower area of the waterfall.

For the Young Ones (ages 0-10): Water, water, and more water! There are a few spots where there were once little waterfalls along the route and while the water is currently non-existent, those parts of the trail could be a bit tricky for little ones. The little ones will enjoy getting down to the river and the reward of sitting on the rocks by the waterfall. I’d advise you only take little ones on this hike if they’re in a carrier or are experienced hikers.

For the Big Kids (ages 10+): The side hike up to the top of the waterfall is an awesome feat! Even if big kids choose to skip out on the side hike, there are plenty of opportunities to explore around the lower end of the waterfall. Big kids will also love splashing around in the river.

Keep In Mind:

  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition and that you have a driver extremely confident in his/her ability to navigate an unpaved, narrow, cliff-hugging road of blind switchbacks that leads to the trailhead. Also, make sure that weather conditions haven’t been and aren’t likely going to be wet.
  • Once you actually get to the trailhead, there’s a $10 fee/car. (I’m thinking that $10/car should go toward at least paving the road…) Have cash or a check.
  • This is another one of those trails that has poison oak lurking off-trail, so straying from the trail isn’t a good idea.

Difficulty Level: Moderate.



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