Pilot Creek Falls (University Falls) is currently CLOSED
Pilot Creek Waterfalls (University Falls) is a 6 mile out and back trail located near Georgetown, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from March until August.
On Saturday a hiker reported:
AJ Anchell: Arrived today at 11am, Two "guards" at the gate today threatening us with fines and or arrest for trespassing. New and improved signage stating private property and all hazards and dangers of hiking down to and swimming in the falls. Gate guards took our pictures and said he was calling the sheriff to get the peeps who were already down the trail. Makes me sad because it is such a beautil place to enjoy a hot summer day. I hope they figure out a way to allow entry. At least I made it there once.... Peace & Love
The land is partly owned by UC Berkeley (hence the name, University Falls).
Does anyone know when the falls will reopen to the public? asked Jon. The reply on the University Blog was: "Not for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. They will not be open until there is a way to manage recreation safely." (August 14, 2014)
Last Aug 9, the University issued this notice:
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