Many Waterfalls cross-country loop


11.8 miles   1400' elevation gain   season:  Nov-Apr   drive: 0:35


Ravine Falls


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Let's say you are a guy, and you go to a dance and find there are 10 women ranging from pretty to gorgeous who want to dance with you.  At first you feel blessed, but by the end of the evening you are emotionally exhausted.  If you find waterfalls attractive, you may feel the same way by the end of this hike.

Obviously, Yosemite Valley has the greatest assemblage of waterfalls.  But outside of Yosemite, we assert that there is no other place in California with as many near vertical waterfalls, all within a single dayhike of each other, as there are on North Table Mountain.

Their beauty is fleeting.  The major ones flow from the first storms in November through about April.  A couple flow for only a few days after big storms.  They are all dry throughout the summer.

Eons ago, basalt lava flowed down a canyon and pooled in a valley at the end.  There it slowly cooled, and as it crystallized fracture planes established vertically.  Valley sediments underlay the basalt.  The sides of the valley eroded away, leaving  Table Mountain.  The ancient valley's floor was soft alluvial deposits, and as they erode from underneath, the basalt cleaves vertically.  Thus the vertical cliffs of North Table Mountain.

If you are lucky and go on a hike after a big rainstorm in March, all the falls will be running and there will be millions of wildflowers carpeting the rocky flats.

Expect to see grazing cattle; they are generally not dangerous, but give the occasional bull some space.  Wildflowers best late Feb-April. 

Look for California Newts in the creeks above the waterfalls.

GPS recommended.  Sunlight best on falls in early afternoon (many are facing west, and are in shade in the morning).