Jenkinson Lake has a great waterfall hike near Placerville CA. Up the hill from Placerville, Sly Park’s elevation makes it is at least ten degrees cooler than the historic gold rush town. This is great for summer walking! Our guests love to go to Jenkinson Lake for its shade and cool waters. Full of tall trees – and over 150 bird species – it is a gorgeous getaway. Here are some tips on how to get to the park and to the waterfall.
Sly Park – Jenkinson Lake Main Entrance
The park staff are very helpful and friendly in providing maps and directions. To get to them from Placerville, take Hwy 50 East, take Exit 60 for Sly Park Road, and turn right. Travel 4.2 miles – it goes downhill through houses so take care. You’ll see the kiosk on your left – the address is 4771 Sly Park Road, Pollock Pines, CA 95726.
The park is very well groomed and cared for. The car fee is $11, and it’s $5 per dog. Ask for their handout of exactly how to get to the waterfall. If you want to paddle a boat while you’re there, they can help you find the rental place that is right on the lake.
Waterfall Hike Trailhead
Park at the end of the lake, along the fence near spot #143. Cross the little wooden bridge and turn right onto the Southshore trail. You’ll be traveling along the shore for just under a mile. It’s a nice shady stroll. If you like, enjoy the nature exhibit on the walkways next to the trailhead.
Take Right Hand Forks
The best pedestrian option is to stay right along the shore. But don’t worry, if you choose a left or center path, you’ll still get to the waterfall.
Soak Your Feet
There are some great wading areas on Hazel Creek on the way to the waterfall. Kick off your shoes or just enjoy the shade.
Cross the Bridge … or Don’t
When you see the Park Creek Bridge, you are almost there! If you cross the bridge and continue left, you’ll be on the same side as the waterfall. If you don’t cross the bridge, you can wade across a shallow swimming hole area like this family did. Last time we went, we did both options to enjoy the whole area. It’s all very near, and very beautiful!
You made it! The waterfall area is a great, refreshingly cool place for a rest or a lunch out in nature. Remember to bring your camera – a great setting for your memories!
Après Hike at Eden Vale Inn
Come back to rest and soak at Eden Vale Inn after your walk. Select a massage treatment for a great restorative! We’re always happy to hear about your adventures in the Sierra Foothills. Ask us about other great hikes, walks, and outings … and our favorite restaurants, because we know you’ve worked up an appetite! We look forward to seeing you soon.