Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail
The Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail is an amazing adventure in the Sierra National Forest that boasts incredible views of the cascades. Hike through mixed woodlands adorned with granite outcrops and along the surging waters of Willow Creek up to Angel Falls and the Devil’s Slide.
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Route Description for Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail
The Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail is a must-do when visiting the Sierra NF—it’s a rite of passage! This epic excursion travels to not one but two surging cascades of Willow Creek. Though tiring, this route draws dozens of intrepid hikers each day, eager to explore Angel Falls and the Devil’s Slide. This scenic path travels through woodlands and along granite slabs which can be extremely slippery when wet—so mind your footing! Additionally, this path is very buggy, and there is poison oak along the trail, so wear long pants and pack some bug spray—the sights are worth it, trust us! Note this hike is not well signposted, so use our trail GPS to easily navigate the route. Lastly, though inviting, it is not recommended to swim above or slide down the falls as it can be extremely dangerous—especially in the spring!
Who doesn’t love a waterfall hike? No one, that’s who! The Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail delivers sights of not one but two amazing cascades surging into granite basins! This wonderful hike is ideal for those with an adventurous spirit as it demands some navigation and bushwhacking. Though primitive, this scenic route is well worth the effort. The sounds of the rushing waters will build anticipation as you near the famous falls. Along the way, there are small, slow-moving pools along Willow Creek that are ideal for swimming—but it is important to exercise caution and swim at your own risk! If time permits, the next time you visit Sierra NF, then trek the Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail.
Setting out from the trailhead, the Angel Falls via Willow Creek Hike heads northeast along the rightmost trail. Soon after departing, you will reach a junction, keep right here, crossing over North Fork Willow Creek. After intersecting with the creek, you will be diverted north, wandering along the eastern side of the running creek. Lined with forestlands on the right and granite slabs on the left, you will eventually reach Angel Falls. Here you will likely be in the company of several other adventurers who are reveling in the sights of the cascades—including some swimming in the granite basin below. After admiring the view, continue north along the path, climbing above the falls. Though inviting, you should refrain from climbing on the rocks surrounding the falls as this can be extremely dangerous.
Gradually climbing through woodlands and granite outcrops, you will soon pass what some consider the “washing machine and dryer”—a whirling pool that many cool off in before sunning themselves and drying off on the imposing granite slab. This section of the hike is more primitive as you climb up to the Devil’s Slide—yet another incredible waterfall. As you climb higher into the High Sierra, you will be granted the odd view of Bass Lake and the forestlands through the tree breaks. Soon you will reach the Devil’s Slide. The reason behind its name will become evident by the scene of the smooth granite slab soaked by the alpine cascade. Though inviting, sliding down the rock is strongly discouraged. After admiring the mesmerizing cascades, retrace your steps back to Angel Falls, where you will take the rightmost trail, along the western side of North Fork Willow Creek, all the way back to the trailhead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you hike to Angel Falls?
Yes, you can hike to Angel Falls via the Willow Creek Trail.
Where is Angel Falls?
Angel Falls is located in the Sierra National Forest, near Bass Lake in Madera County.
Are dogs permitted on the Angel Falls via the Willow Creek Trail?
Yes, the Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail is a dog-friendly hike.
Insider Hints for Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail
- Creek crossings can be unsafe, so if the waters are surging, then refrain from crossing
- Mind your footing as the rocky terrain can be extremely slippery
- This trail is most extraordinary in the spring, but it’s also the most dangerous
- Though inviting, the Devil’s Slide is incredibly dangerous
- Pack a picnic and have lunch overlooking the falls
- Parking at the trailhead is limited, so arrive early to secure a spot!
Getting to the Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail Trailhead
The Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail is accessed via the trailhead off Road 274.
Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail Elevation Graph
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