happyly approved

Bassi Falls

Bassi Falls, California, USA

Dawn to dusk


hike, seasonal-activities

Bassi Falls is a beautiful hike in the pine forest over giant granite boulders to the waterfall. 

Bassi Falls is a picturesque hike that offers some great views. Part of the fun is climbing on all the giant boulders if you've got kids with lots of energy.

This hike is on the way to Lake Tahoe from Placerville in El Dorado County and the El Dorado National Forest. Some people say it is near the towns of Kyburz, Georgetown, or Pollock Pines. It's not really in any town and there is no government-run website I can find on it. But, it was the number one hike recommended to us by our bed and breakfast hosts. We would never have found this hike otherwise as it is quite off the beaten path from any town, yet it is near many campgrounds and swimming areas at the reservoir nearby.

You will drive on Ice House Road from Highway 50, and it will feel pretty remote. However, even in September, we were not completely alone on the road or on the hike on a weekday. But don't expect cell service. Fill up your gas tank before heading out there. You will turn off Ice House Road onto a road that becomes a dirt path. Park at the end of this road, and there is the trailhead. You will start in the pine forest, where it is mostly shady. But then you will reach the granite boulders, where you will walk across the flat rock part toward the waterfall.

The hike to lower Bassi Falls is where we stopped since we had little kids, including one in the hiking backpack. But, here, on a hot day, we could dip our toes and legs into the cold, still pools of snow meltwater. Don't expect to swim under the waterfall. But, these small pools were perfect for us. According to the All Trails app, if you choose to hike to upper Bassi Falls and back to the trailhead, it is 3.6 miles and has an elevation gain of 429 feet. It was a hot day in late September, so when we got out onto the rocks away from the trees, it was very sunny and hot due to the high elevation in the Sierra Nevada mountains. 

After our hike, I went to Fashoda Campground to swim in the reservoir, which forms a lake amongst the pine trees. 


Hiking Scenic Views Waterfall
Thoughtfully captured by:
Jessie O’Kane
I moved from Northern California to Oregon in 2021. I have three girls, ages 5, 3, and 1. I was an elementary school teacher before I became a full time adventuring mama. My husband and I are foodies and we live in the forest. We enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest.
More activities by Jessie
Beautiful park with a new playground and summer splash pad.
Pirate-themed playground connected to paved trails.
A woodsy playground in a forest with trails.

Recommended Gear