Table Mountain walk April 2019

return to index

On a Thursday in mid-April, six of us enjoyed seeing the spring wildflower show at Table Mountain, near Oroville. 

Only the northern part of Table Mountain has public access; the southern part with the huge "O" looming just above the city of Oroville, is privately owned. 

Wikipedia states that volcanic soils on Table Mountain go back nearly 40 million years, and, there are 17 walking-accessible waterfalls here plus five caves, all carved out by the falls.  Phantom cave is the most-visited one, the cave & Coal Canyon trail supposedly accessible on a steep & technical trail.  

We walked about four miles, covering maybe a third of the available acreage.        

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.       

see note one the walkers lupine & gold fields same flowers  
  mostly lupine mostly bird's eye gillia blue dicks  
owl's clover, a little out of focus   a little girl, crying rock garden; see note 2
  flowery terrain the walkers Ravine falls, at 76 ft. of height the ravine
Rich, Linda, and Robin more giant Oaks approaching Phantom Falls most of us

note 1 - Linda B. lending a hand just as a girl's boot became stuck in some deep mud, not far from the parking area.

note 2 - I could barely hear the girl cry; it was instead a quiet whimper.  I assumed she had accidentally banged her knee against a rock, or the rugged lava, while playing with other kids.  She was no doubt part of a larger group having a picnic just below this amazing field of flowers.  We first saw this large family from a distance. 

Her Mom came up and got her, barely visible in this image. She gave the child a lecture about 'never being out of my view', but the girl stopped crying, held her Mom's hand, and, appeared to be walking normally.     

Phantom Falls is a 164 ft. drop, one of three adjacent falls which spill into rugged Coal Canyon.  People in the old days thought the rock 'looked like coal', but it's really basalt.  Table Mountain is a 'basaltic plateau', a term you can no doubt use to impress your friends at parties !  

....you know, my life lately seems like a basaltic plateau...know what I mean ?...this is always a good conversation starter...     

Coal Canyon, a rugged place to walk canyon penstemon  on the walk back looking SW to Sutter Buttes, see note
    Linda and Robin wildflower  mix
one & only cow photo this time

note - the Sutter Buttes happens to be the world's smallest mountain range, and, as the photo shows, they rise out of the flat Sacramento Valley, like an Island out of the sea, in this case, out of a sea of flooded rice fields. 

The wildflower explosion at Table Mountain, typically occurring between mid-March and mid-April, was spectacular, but overcast light turned the coloration knob way down. 

I made a few Photoshop corrections later to each shot to enhance color.  Once I cropped out the 'white-out' sky, I was left with a collection of wide-angle looking images.  I think there's something impressive when landscapes are presented in wide-angle format, possibly conforming to how we experience reality. 

It was a good day out for a small group of walkers, and the 'most of us' group photo at the Phantom Falls overlook came out really well. 

return to index