Potem Falls Trail

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
43 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Potem Falls Trail

Potem Falls is a hidden gem in the Greater Redding Area that affords anyone a good time. Discover the beautiful oasis by way of the Potem Falls Trail and hop into the crystalline pool at the base of the sheer-21 m waterfall. This hike beckons adventurers in the Californian summer heat.

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Route Description for Potem Falls Trail

The Potem Falls Trail is a must-add adventure to your Northern California itinerary. Boasting beautiful views, this easy-going hike can be enjoyed year-round. Though best explored in the summer months, winter expeditions are equally as enchanting. When trekking after a snowfall, be sure to strap on a pair of microspikes to avoid injury. Additionally, as this route travels through woodlands and tall brush, it is recommended to check for ticks and be mindful of poison oak. Since this hidden gem has recently been discovered, there has been an abundance of litter, so please practice no trace principles and respect nature.

Wander the Potem Falls to the idyllic swimming hole and mesmerizing cascade. This beautiful adventure in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest can be enjoyed by hikers of all skill levels and ages—year-round. Head out in the summer months, when the cascades surge and the waters are refreshing to escape the heat! Intrepid spirits can even pendulum into the pool via the rope swing! If you prefer the more relaxing approach, then sun on one of the large rocks that bound the water. Finally, pack a picnic and spend the day overlooking the hypotonic veil! Though the waterfall is the piece de resistance, the hike also boasts a picturesque experience. We love this trek, and you will too.

Your journey along the Potem Falls begins from the trailhead off Fenders Ferry Road. From here, you will likely hear the sounds of the crashing cascades. Setting out from here, the winding terrain will lead you through tall brush, along rocky ridges, and down to the pool. Minding your footing on the rocky terrain, you will be led north before curving south, gently descending through mixed conifers. Be wary of ticks and poison oak, and the route will divert you northwest, running parallel to Potem Creek. Enjoy the scene of the moss-cloaked trees and lush greenery before opening to the cascades.

Marvel in the scene of the narrow veil that fans over the sheer granite cliffside and into the inviting pool. Explore the rocky banks, and if time permits, hop into the blue-hued waters and give the Tarzan rope a try! Some off-road and hike up to the top of the falls; this is not advised due to the area's steep drop-offs and poison oak. Indulge in the scenery of the waterfall and when you are ready, pack out your garbage and begin your return. To get back to the trailhead, simply retrace your footing along the path back up to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

Potem Falls

Potem Falls is a 21 m waterfall that surges from Potem Creek down into a marvelous swimming hole. Located in the Greater Redding Area in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The drainage of the falls flows directly into the Pit River that crosses the Cascade Range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim in Potem Falls?

Yes, the pool at the bottom of Potem Falls is a great spot for swimming.

Are dogs allowed at Potem Falls?

Yes, dogs on leash are welcome at Potem Falls.

Insider Hints for Potem Falls Trail

  • Head out from March-October for the best conditions
  • Pack swim attire and hop into the inviting waters
  • Have a picnic overlooking the mesmerizing cascade
  • In the winter months, wear microspikes or snowshoes to safely navigate the terrain
  • Check for ticks after this trek

Getting to the Potem Falls Trail Trailhead

The Potem Falls Trailhead is located off Fenders Ferry Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Potem Falls Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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