Thursday, April 5, 2018

4.5.18 ... North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve

Hike Details:
Elevation range - about 1200-1300' (lots of little ups and downs but no huge elevation changes)
Location - take Hwy. 65 North, through Marysville, to Hwy. 70 North to Oroville, take Grand Ave. exit, turn left on Table Mountain Rd., then right on Cherokee Rd., it's a windy, small road up to the top of the plateau. Parking lot will be on the left by a large oak tree. Note: This is now a fee area, go here to purchase a pass before you go:  https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass
Bathrooms: Yes, porta-potties
Mileage - 5 miles roundtrip (depending on how much wandering around you do)
Hiking time - 3 hours

Everything here is unbelievably green...


 Yes, everything really is this green! No wonder these cows are so content. :)
The drought has ended (for now) and the wildflowers have come back in abundance! It looked like a colorful carpet everywhere we turned--yellow, purple, white, pink! 
 Not only do I have the cutest friends...
 but they're nice enough to be willing to traipse across cow pastures with me! :)
Okay, here we go, wildflower overload! Let's start with yellow...







And last, but certainly, not least of the yellow...
Now for some purple...  







Up next are white little delicate flowers sprinkled throughout...


And finally, beautiful pink flowers -- figuring out what kind of flowers all of these are would be a smart thing (I think the pink are some kind of clover), but in the meantime we just enjoy their beauty...


The other highlight of this area is the many babbling creeks flowing down over the edge of the plateau into beautiful waterfalls. 









The most spectacular and surprising waterfall is Phantom Falls--it looks so out of place at the edge of a pasture! We've hiked down to the bottom of it before but decided to skip that this time since the weather was looking stormy. There has obviously been a fire in this canyon sometime since we were last here--lots of brown trees. :(




Just a few more, we couldn't stop taking pictures at every turn...



This is as close as I wanted to get to the edge of this sheer drop-off/canyon...


 And let this last one be a cautionary reminder:  accidents happen! Thankfully not to us, but we saw a woman being airlifted back to the parking lot to be taken in an ambulance after what appeared to be (fortunately for her) a minor leg injury. We don't know what happened. but there were plenty of places we saw where someone could get injured.  
Be safe out there, people! :)
Ok, one more thing, in case you need a few seconds of meditation...

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