Kae and Cleo take in the views from Table Mountain on Feb. 25.

A four-waterfall hike in one outing? You betcha.

Table Mountain in Oroville is one of Mother Nature’s marvels, boasting of more than a dozen waterfalls depending on the season.

Because these waterfalls are not snow fed, their robustness ebbs and flows throughout the winter and spring based on rainfall. Waterfalls and seasonal streams are formed by the basalt rock soaking up rain water. The water flows from small streams before tumbling over a rock formation to create a waterfall. With how little water is in the streams, it’s rather astonishing how spectacular the falls are.

Crevice Falls flows between two rock formations. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

More than 20 members of the Chico Oroville Outdoor Adventurers were out there on the last Sunday of February. A fellow hiker had been to Crevice Falls four days earlier. His video showed raging water, which made our viewing look more like a trickle.

It didn’t matter. It was a glorious sunny day, with clouds making interesting formations in the blue sky. The hike had been postponed twice because of crappy weather, but those added rains had to have helped the falls.

Instead of starting from the main parking lot, our excursion began about mile south. In a clockwise manner we hit Schirmer Ravine, Schirmer Falls, Coon Falls, Ranch Falls and Crevice Falls.

Table Mountain is aptly named — it looks like a flat table. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Mom’s phone said we did just more than 6 miles, mine said 5+. We are going with 6.

Not having a designated trail made this outing a bit of an adventure, and a bit more challenging. Basalt is strewn all over the ground as though it’s a rock garden. This can make walking a challenge, especially for someone like mom who is 89 and seven months out from knee replacement surgery.

Ranch Falls spills for more than 140 feet. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

While the elevation gain wasn’t much—442 feet—it was mostly straight up and down, and over and on rocks when we crossed tiny streams.

With the naked eye it was hard to see much water coming down from Schirmer Falls, which was the farthest away. Binoculars helped one person, while my camera aided me. The blackness in the rock signaled where to look.

Areas of Table Mountain are like walking in a minefield of rocks. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

 

Ranch Falls appeared to have the longest flow of water. It’s more than 140-feet long. It almost looked like it had a crook in its flow instead of being a linear stream.

Crevice Falls was aptly named as the water dropped into a crevice. It is fascinating to see the start of a waterfall. This has been a rare occurrence for me throughout my years of hiking.

It was a spectacular outing.

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