Codfish Falls may be more cascade than true falls, but lying deep within the North Fork American River canyon and the Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA), this makes an especially pleasant hike. Even better, when the wildflowers are as abundant as they were this April 30th. Yet, the best of the season for both wildflowers and a photogenic flow of water over the falls is about over for this year.
One of the most beautiful parts of Mother Nature's grand design is that both the thundering chortle of the falls and the vibrant blossoms of intricate sculptures of individual flowers plus the patches of blooms spreading across the hillsides will return next year. Counting on the skills of at least three cardiologists, I'm planning on it too.
The Codfish Falls Trail is one of our easiest strolls but at least one spot requires scrambling over a rocky ledge not far below the trailhead at the north end of the Ponderosa Way Bridge. The trail is not signed but can be easily found as it drops by the sandy beach that will again be super popular once the water and air temperatures slip into a summer-time mode.
ASRA provides a couple of chemical toilets at the trailhead. A few days ago they needed pumping desperately. The Area even maintains two more wood toilets along the trail. This has to speak to the trail's popularity%u214or the lack of large trees to slip behind or, worse yet, the abundance of poison oak if you step off the trail. But I'm sure more accurately said: the state's intent to do the right thing. Thanx guys. But getting funding to maintain something once you do the fun work of developing it, can be difficult. Certainly on the national Forest Service side of the task, I can verify that's the case.
Arguably, an even better, small example is the Codfish Creek Falls Discovery Trail brochure that is provided at the entry point downriver a short distance below the trailhead. Families with smaller kids will get good use out of the pamphlet. Please, replace it after returning to the box. Funding for reprints is hard to come by.
Pamphlet illustrations and text was done by Heather Mehl as her Colfax High School Senior Project in 2001. Eric Peach, P.A.R.C, and California State Parks and Recreation all helped to make the pamphlet available. Thanx, Heather, et al. It wouldn't exist if you hadn't volunteered your time.