Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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April 30, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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April 30, 2014
 

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Bulletin, RecordcProgressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 1n Frazier Falls plummets 176 feet to the rocks below for a total cascade of 248 feet. According to an interpretive sign at the vista point, the falls were carved out by a glacier approximately 170,000 - 190,000 years ago. Geologic evidence shows that the area was once covered by glaciers. Frazier Creek's path from Gold Lake, the creek's headwaters, to its intersection with Highway89 in Graeagle is about 5 miles long and entails a vertical drop of about 2,000 feet. One of half a dozen hand-made rustic benches along the trail offers a peaceful resting place and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area. A narrow foot bridge crosses Frazier Creek a quarter-mile from the parking lot trailhead. The Frazier Falls viewing platform lies another quarter-mile down the trail, Laura Beaton Staff Writer Ibeaton@plumasnews.com Interesting rock formations are visible all around the Frazier Falls area. Picnic tables and restrooms are available for public use. Frazier Falls trail is a family-friendly, 1-mile out-and-back paved pathway that winds through beautiful glacier-carved terrain. From left; Steve Rahmeyer, Nala the dog, 14-month old Ryker Vukich (who viewed his first-ever waterfall) and his mom, Kate Vukich. idden away among dozens of lakes and countless streams in the Lakes Basin Area is one of the tallest waterfalls in Northern California: Frazier Falls. With a drop of 176 feet and a cascade stretching 248 feet, Frazier Falls is a powerful example of nature's glory. The waterfall is easily accessible from the Gold Lake Highway, which links Graeagle, on Highway 89, to Bassetts Station on Highway 49. From Graeagle, drive about a mile and a half up Gold Lake Highway and take the left turn to Frazier Falls, clearly marked with a sign that indicates the 4-mile drive. The road is twisty but paved, and winds through old growth timber and along a ridge affording expansive views of Frazier Creek, far below, and 7,342-foot Mills Peak. A parking lot, picnic tables and restrooms mark the trailhead to Frazier Falls. Beautiful rock formations and inspirational views invite exploration before even hitting the trail. The narrow, paved path meanders through tall firs, pines and low-growing manzanita. The trail winds around and over glacier-polished ridges, magnificent rock formations and outcrops that afford panoramic views of surrounding mountains. An easy quarter-mile walk brings one to the clear cold waters of Frazier Creek. A wooden bridge spans the creek; willow, aspen and dogwood-lined banks provide habitat and forage for birds; squirrels and other wildlife. From the middle of the bridge looking downstream, nature's own "infinity"' pool disappears into space. Frazier Falls begins where this infmity pool ends. Signs warn visitors to keep to the trail; at least a few unlucky visitors wandering too close to the edge have fallen to their deaths. Geologic evidence shows that the area was once covered by glaciers. Frazier Creek's path from Gold Lake, the creek's headwaters, to its intersection with Highway 89 in Graeagle is about 5 miles lor!g and entails a vertical drop of about 2,000 feet. As you walk along the trail, sturdy, hand-made rustic benches offer resting places and contemplative views amid the scolding of squirrels and chirping of birds. The trail continues a quarter- mile beyond the creek, continuing its easy, meandering, mostly flat way, offering numerous vistas in every direction. One last lovely bench and a fenced-in viewing platform directly across from the falls provide an amazing vantage point from which to watch the water cascade over the steep drop. As summertime progresses, the flow often reduces to a trickle and as you drive across Frazier Creek on Highway 89, the creek bed may be dry. An interpretive panel located at the trail's terminus, the vista point from which to view the falls, says Frazier Falls was created about 170,000 - 190,000 years ago. During warming periods, the glacier melted, and water seeped into cracks in the bedrock. When freezing temperatures resumed, the water froze and split the rock apart, in a process called "frost wedging." The steeply stepped 176-foot Frazier Falls is the result of this process. Geologists also note volcanic evidence throughout the area. Frazier Creek disappears over the edge in an impressive 176-foot plunge. Frazier Falls is one of the tallest falls in Northern California. To 1 Mile Hidden ke ' Lake ElweU. ~ < i: : ~18ft : ..- ,... Trail Mills Peak