Hike Date: March 18, 2012
Distance: 9.6 miles
Trail(s): Zim Zim Falls Trail
Where’s it at? Northwest Lake Berryessa, Northern California


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Total distance: 15.51 km (9.6 mi)
Total time: 2:52:29
Moving time: 2:10:21
Average speed: 5.40 km/h (3.4 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 7.14 km/h (4.4 mi/h)
Max speed: 10.80 km/h (6.7 mi/h)
Min elevation: 170 m (556 ft)
Max elevation: 333 m (1092 ft)
Elevation gain: 640 m (2100 ft)

I ran across this hike in a couple hiking books that I own and had to check out Zim Zim Falls for myself.

The trailhead for this hike is a little bit tough to find.  Definitely recommend that you do a little research about it first.  The best advice is to say it’s at about the 3.75 mile marker and the parking area is on the right side of the road right before a 3rd or 4th water crossing.  (depending on when you go there may or may not be water in all of the crossings however!).  You’ll see a green gate on the left side and a trail that heads north and west into a valley.  I definitely passed this up on my visit and had to turn around a few times to find it.  The mile marker tip is very important.  There is no signage and even the parking area is not super-obvious for this trailhead.

The great thing about this hike is that you will probably not see anybody else at all the whole trip.  I didn’t on my visit.  The trail appears to be used for hunting moreso than hiking, as you will find several hunting shelters and areas setup for cleaning the kills along the way.   There are also bullet holes in just about everything along the way.

The trail starts out along the creek, and on my visit there were a couple trees down right across the trail so right from the get go it was not your average easy hiking trail.  There are also a lot of stream crossings.  One resource I looked at counted 18 total creek crossings, I actually didn’t count them but that number seemed about right.  The creek crossings vary.  I went on a dry year for the most part, but 2 days after a major rainstorm that dropped probably 3 inches of rain in the hills here. The water crossings were definitely there but probably nowhere near their high points. I’d suggest bringing shoes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy.  Not much of the trail was dry for me at all.  I’d brought along some “Tevas” but in fact I was able to keep my feet dry on the inside without ever changing out of my hiking boots, granted they had goretex lining.  Many of the creek crossings have rocks that you can step across, carefully, right on the main trail, and for the others I was able to find a crossing area within 15 feet up or down the creek.  There’s always the option of throwing in your own rocks to cross if needed as well, with large rocks along the sides of the creek in most spots.

One thing that annoyed me about this hike, other than the hunting aspect, was that there are AT&T “Call before you dig” signs ALL OVER THE PLACE which made it actually hard to get a good trail picture anywhere in the first half.  Most of the pictures below are at intervals just after one sign where the next is maybe just out of site, or at least not blatantly visible. There’s something about knowing you’re walking along a major communication cable that takes away from the otherwise very wilderness aspect of this hike.

I’d intended to head straight for the bottom of the falls, and at a noticeable pink boulder I took the right/low trail which became very narrow almost immediately.  I traveled along this for a short distance until it abruptly ended, presumably because of a landslide but I couldn’t be sure.  I could’ve continued on bouldering around the creek but noticed a TON of poison oak all over in this area, in fact I’m really shocked I didn’t get a rash from this hike.  Anyway, it wasn’t impossible to continue on to the base of the falls but I chose to turn back and head for the wider trail to get a more wide view of the falls.  i never was able to actually even see the falls on the lower branch of the trail.

After hiking upward a ways I finally caught glimpse of the falls.  They are definitely a seasonal waterfall so don’t even both with this hike unless it’s just recently rained would be my advice.  Outside of the falls themselves there’s nothing that scenic about it.  The waterfalls were flowing fairly well.  I hiked down pretty far toward the creek to get some of the closeup photos and the video of these falls.  Supposedly if you keep going to the top of the peaks there is a nice view of Lake Berryessa but I’d have enough of that on the drive in to get my fill, and my main intention was to witness the out-of-the-way Zim Zim falls.

This is a good hike if you love waterfalls and go right after some rain, and don’t mind getting your feet wet and dirty.

Zim Zim Falls Video

Photos from Zim Zim Falls Trail (click to enlarge)

Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/ http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/ http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/
http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/ http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/ http://timsartoris.com/blog/hike-to-zim-zim-falls-in-knoxville-wildlife-area/
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area
Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area Hiking Zim Zim Falls Trail in Knoxville Wildlife Area

 

Directions to Hiking Zim Zim Falls


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