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The Curtain Falls

The Curtain Falls

With the Curtain Falls, it not really much of the falls that is superb. It is more of the hiking experience.

To get to the Curtain Falls, take the Oroville Dam Boulevard exit off Highway #70. Head east to Olive Highway #162, which is about 1.6 miles. Turn right, and from there is about 17-mile drive to Bald Rock Road, which is a right turn. Drive another 5 miles until you reach the Zink Road by turning left and continue for 3 miles until you reach a 4-way intersection. Just continue straight ahead to the signed road for the Dome Trail (Road 21N51Y), then drive 3 miles to a fork in the road. By turning left on this short signed road and driving 0.3 miles, you will now reach the trailhead.

The best time to visit Curtain Falls is from April to September. After reaching Dome Trail trailhead, the hike down the river is about 2 miles. It will be a 1500-foot drop in elevation, but the trail is good and well-built, not very steep, except for the last part where you will have to take on a number of steps before reaching the river itself. Just be careful of poison oaks, are there are plenty of them along the trail. You might forget about them when you see the spectacular views of the can yon and the river, particularly on the last part of the trail.

Upon reaching the river, Curtain Falls you can now catch a glimpse of Curtain Falls, but it is still half-mile upstream. Do not attempt to reach the falls through the river bank. The granite cliffs are simply unconquerable. You have to plunge into the river and scramble upstream along the huge rocks. Find a place where the current is not so strong that you can wade along. This spot is located mainly on the other side of the river, so manage to somehow cross the river. Upon reaching the other side, you have to continue battling with the giant rocks up to the waterfall.
Soon, you will reach a large pool just below the Curtain Falls, and the only way across to reach the falls is to swim across, which is neither difficult nor long.

When you reach the waterfall, you can relax your body on the rocks. You should try the waterslide below the falls. You would miss a lot if you don’t try this one. You should also reach for the top of the falls through the steep cliff on the right side. With all the fun and ecstasy, don’t forget that the way back is even more challenging. So save a lot of energy and water, for it will be quite hot on your way back to the trail.

Though it is fun to view the Curtain fall throughout the year, it is more fun to visit in the middle or late summer. The currents would still be strong in the early summer. It is also best to come on a hot day, where the cold water is very pleasant and inviting. For those who love bikes, the trail to the river is accessible with a mountain bike up to the part where you would take on some steps of the staircase. From there, hike the rest of the way to the falls.