Slaughter Ravine Falls, California

Slaughter Ravine Falls was not a waterfall I was searching for…it found me. I was visiting California and before a conference, I flew into Sacramento. I headed northeast along I-80 to visit a friend in Colfax. They showed me around Colfax, and as we were going downhill toward the North Fork of the American River, I noticed a rather large waterfall. I didn’t get a chance to photograph the waterfall then, so I headed back downhill.

Slaughter Ravine Falls in March 2016

There really isn’t an official parking area or a sign for the approximately 300′ waterfall, which I guess in northern California might not be surprising since there are a lot of tall and impressive waterfalls. There is a parking area before you cross over the American River, but I don’t think it’s designated for the falls. I don’t remember if I stopped here to get a photo of the falls or if I crossed the river and then took a picture of the falls from across the American River. (Looking back, I have some pictures that seem to be very close to the base of the falls, so I parked somewhere and got out to take a look…)

Because there’s no hike involved with Slaughter Ravine Falls, it could be a nice waterfall to add to your list without difficulty…but then it also makes it less worthwhile to drive out of the way to view the falls. There is also another waterfall in another ravine, Pennyweight Falls. So if you decide to go out of the way, you can add two waterfalls to your list, and there may be more in the area.


  1. From I-80, take exit 135. (I was heading north on I-80.)
  2. You’ll take a right on Canyon Way. (It’s a very short distance…could be a bit confusing.)
  3. Continue on Canyon Way to Iowa Hill Road. Turn left onto Iowa Hill Road.
  4. Follow Iowa Hill Road down to the Iowa Hill Road Bridge (with Mineral Bar on the other side of the river). Pennyweight Falls can be viewed from the last “sharp” curve before you reach the bridge.
  5. Slaughter Ravine Falls can be viewed after that sharp curve by looking uphill to the left of the road you just drove down.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: ~300′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Slaughter Ravine Falls?

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