Cache Creek Ford


12.5 miles  1,800' elevation gain

best season: 
Nov-mid May
(creek most likely to be low enough Oct-Nov)
but not if snow below:

1:55 drive

dogs welcome

This hike traverses the lower elevation portion of the new Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument., and makes two fords of Cache Creek.  For more than half the year, Cache Creek is not fordable by the casual hiker.  Carefully read the discussion on fording Cache Creek, below.

Flowers peak in late April-early May.

The grass becomes prickly mid May 

Trail has clay mud when wet; let dry for 3 or more days after rain before doing this hike.

check recent rain here

The trails are not continuous on either side of Wilson Valley, so smartphone with the Avenza app is recommended if not proficient with topographic maps.

The area is hot May-October.  The long walks along brushy ridges interspersed with grassy oak woodlands can be lovely in pleasant weather. 

we bring water shoes and a wading staff or trekking poles

we do not go if the combined dam releases are over 100 CFS
(tap here)

we do not go if the flow at
Rumsey is expected to be over 200 CFS

tap on map to enlarge, and understand why dam releases control most of the flow at the Cache Creek Ford

This hike is in Cache Creek Natural Area; owned by the public, managed by Ukiah Field Office of Bureau of Land Management. Backpacking welcomed; campfires welcomed except during wildfire season.

Baton Flat campsite
Ruddy Cliff campsite
Rocky Creek campsite
Ford campsite
Wilson Valley campsite

ford photo Dec 29, 2016

ford photo Jan 10, 2016

Use your own judgment.  Be safe.  Don't hesitate to return the way you came if conditions are dangerous.

current weather forecast

Street View of trailhead
starting trailhead
ending trailhead

Maps  updated Apr 2021

Avenza version

Adobe PDF version

KML track of hike