Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley
Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley
Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley
University of California
Center for Forestry at UC Berkeley

Pilot Creek Falls (University Falls)

Description of Falls

Pilot Creek Falls (a.k.a University Falls) are undeveloped wildlands overseen by UC Center for Forestry. Access may be PROHIBITED ANY TIME.

Due to impacts on research,

 

THE FALLS AREA, INCLUDING THE FOOT PATH TO THE FALLS, IS CURRENTLY CLOSED

 

ACCESS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED

 

THERE IS NO LEGAL ACCESS VIA PUBLIC LANDS

 

Several issues and hazards exist:

- The route leading to the falls passes through public and private lands. Land surrounding the falls is PRIVATE. The trail to the falls is undeveloped and can be very hazardous.

- Getting to the falls involves a 5.4 mile round trip along dirt roads and an unimproved trail. The elevation change is 1200 feet and involves a steep ascent.

- Several injuries and fatalities have occurred. Slippery rocks and the slippery trail have also caused injuries.

- Water may be unsafe for drinking and swimming from upstream contamination.

- Emergency response may take 2 or more hours. There is no cellular reception at or en route to the falls.

- Street side parking is limited. Illegal parking (in Quintette or across white lines) can lead to your vehicle being cited and likely towed at your expense.

- There are no restrooms or garbage service at or along the route to the falls.

Several local and legal alternatives exist:

Stumpy Meadows Reservoir (swimming, boating)- 5 miles east on Wentworth Springs Road

Rubicon River at Elicott's crossing (swimming, rocks, hiking)- 12 miles East on Wentworth Springs Road, 4.5 miles north on 11 Pines Road.

Bassi Falls (water falls)- 20 miles East on Wentworth Springs Road, 9 miles South on Ice House Road

 

Comments

19 Comments - Post Comment

19.
I will go regardless because it is beautiful, it is public land, I am responsible for myself and the risks I take, and lastly I can afford the tickets....

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2014

Reply posted on October 7, 2014

It is not public land. It is private. I hope we do not see you there.

18.
It's really sad that it came to this, but I'm not surprised. People have been abusing this area (and most other reasonably accessible remote recreation areas I can think of) for too long. I'm not sure what has clicked in people's brains in the last 5 years or so that so many people are getting into nature, but completely trashing it. What a shame. This place was a natural wonder, left in a natural state. Of course it carried dangers as a result, but caution and proper Leave No Trace procedures kept it wonderful for everyone. I hope that the area is able to heal and some day it will be accessible again to the public!

Posted by Chris B on September 4, 2014

17.
I love going to places like this, and am very respectful when I do. I understand the closing, but there's no need to act so absolute about it. If the trail is dangerous, make sure there are plenty of warnings.. i.e. "Not suitable for young children or weak humans". If people are trashing the place, make some warning sign like "If found with disposable waste, and no means to trek it out of here, you will be shot on sight." Just suggestions of course.

Posted by Drew Schott on September 3, 2014

Reply posted on September 4, 2014

Many different types and amounts of signs were used, but they were not sufficient.

16.
Unfortunately, people seem to be getting much more disrespectful of the outdoors. I'm seeing these same issues at many of my favorite places. The one that bothers me most is the massive amounts of toilet paper left everywhere - Bring a small ziploc and pack that stuff out!

Posted by Larry Whiting on August 27, 2014

15.
I have been going to the falls since the 70's. Yes in the last few years the trash has been bad. I am stunned by the disregard for a beautiful place. I went August 6, 2014 and a group of us picked up all the trash, fecal matter, and bottles. The falls are cleaner then ever. I am 51 years old, the hike is great...not bad. I hope this can be a place I can go for the next few years. It is beautiful!!!

Posted by Jonna on August 22, 2014

14.
Instead of closing the trail, how about having a public clean up day since the number if people who respect and appreciate nature far outweigh the number of irresponsible abusers of this area. I think it is wrong to deny everyone access when many of us would gladly chip in and maintain the trail.

Posted by Andrea Williams on August 19, 2014

Reply posted on August 19, 2014

Good idea, but it would take constant staffing and volunteerism to be able to either clean up or make sure people cleaned up after themselves. Unfortunately, neither is sustainable in this situation. There are several other impacts besides littering. If an agency that managed recreation owned the land, then it could perhaps be open to public use.

13.
Good move....thank you.

Posted by Elizabeth on August 18, 2014

12.
I am happy to see this action. Too many people have been disrespectful and careless towards a lovely area and have forced this closure. Laziness and drunken stupidity left the trail head and trail filled with litter and human waste. There is no excuse for that disregard of our natural resources and as a result it has been closed in order to keep the vermin away. Thank you Blodgett Forest administrators!

Posted by george r bingen on August 18, 2014

11.
I guess enough bitching would close heaven too.

Posted by Dave M on August 18, 2014

10.
So glad to see this! My 12 year old broke her leg in 2 places there. Took 3 hours to get her out. Thankfully strangers helped us. They took turns carrying her on their backs. Some places the terrain was so steep my husband was on his hands and knees with her on his back. No cellphone coverage. Not a safe place!

Posted by concerned mom on August 16, 2014

9.
Good! That place has been abused for the past few years. Let nature heal. Too bad people don't respect these awesome places.

Posted by Juli O on August 15, 2014

8.
Sad it had to come to this . But anyone that drove by and saw all the trash at the gates knew it was coming .Just hope law enforcement sites the people that ignore the closure because odds are these are the people that caused most of the problems .

Posted by anthony arellanes on August 15, 2014

7.
Thank you for taking action. I hope the falls will recover naturally now that they are being given a break from too many people.

Posted by Kelly D on August 15, 2014

6.
Sad that the overuse of this beautiful resource has driven this to happen. People abusing nature, leaving trash all over that others have been cleaning up and the wreckless behavior that has led to many fatalities and injuries. People unfortunately do not know how to not take advantage of these things and it ruins it for everyone else. Happy this is happening, but sad as well.

Posted by Ken on August 15, 2014

Reply posted on August 18, 2014

Perhaps it could be opened up for safe recreation in the future if an agency that managed for public recreation would be willing to see it as an opportunity.

5.
Does anyone know when the falls will reopen to the public?

Posted by Jon on August 14, 2014

Reply posted on August 14, 2014

Not for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. They will not be open until there is a way to manage recreation safely.

4.
I am so glad to see the changes. The general public has polluted, trashed and exploited a beautiful place. It's a shame but with such over exposure from the news, internet and word of mouth there are just TOO many people for the trail and the land around the falls, and the parking situation was a major accident waiting to happen. Too much vandalism, litter, human waste and too little concern for the environment and wildlife. Hopefully the Blodgett staff will be treated in a respectful manner as they face the very difficult and NOT fun job of turning people away. I applaud your efforts and appreciate what you're doing.

Posted by Krysten Trost on August 12, 2014

3.
Mother Nature has suffered greatly at the hands of some very careless people and it looks like it's going to take some time to restore the trails and the falls back to the way it was. To enjoy such natural gifts comes with certain responsibilities

Posted by Michelle G. on August 12, 2014

2.
They are turning people away from sliding down the falls!

Posted by RY on August 10, 2014

1.
Ah come on, people are just trying to have fun. Can't we think of a way to make money on it and make everyone happy?

Posted by Tim Peacock on August 9, 2014

Reply posted on August 10, 2014

Unfortunately, "fun" is not an adequate justification for the impacts.

Add New Comment

PUBRZJ
Webmaster Email: billstewart@berkeley.edu