The Crystal basin is an outdoor lifestyle paradise. Located just east of Sacramento with access off highway 50, boaters, campers, off-roaders, hikers and sight seer’s from the local region flock here all summer long for a little Sierra adventure. On our latest visit we explored the popular Bassi Falls trails for a great spring adventure. Located just east of Union reservoir in the Crystal basin off Forest Service Route 3, Bassi falls is an easy to moderate 2 mile hike following the Bassi creek past several cascade locations, a lover fall area which spectacular in its own right and a great family location at the base of Bassi Falls for enjoying a spring or summer hike on the West side of the Sierra.
When you reach the base of Bassi Falls, you will be treated to an awesome view of the entire 109 ft. cascade. which is perfect for spring and early summer visits. Late summer Hikes the waterflow just is not that spectacular.
There is a short version of this hike after all the gates open in late spring.
On our trip in Spring of 2021, the trail was not in good shape with several fallen trees from winter blocking sections of the trail. Also trail signage is lacking which has caused for way to many human use trails. Luckily the trail follows the river most of the route so as long as the river is on the right you cant get lost. This is a hot spot int eh national forest and we recommend you bring plent yo f water and wear a hat. The falls locations are in direct sunlight on granite surfaces making for a great place to sunbath. Also bring your sunglasses as the glare of the rocks can be quite blinding after awhile.
Leave no trace principles could use some help in this area. with such heavy use the user human use trails through the forest has caused for a large section to be close for restoration. If you are visiting for the first time we highly recommend paying attention to the signage and try to stay on the maintained trail system.
Make a day trip out of the Crystal Basin
After our falls visit which included a 2 hour siesta on the rocks below the fall, we made our way out to Loon Lake. One of the furthest point accessible by car in the Crystal Basin. Loon lake on our visit was still covered in snow, however 4×4 jeeps where lining up to take on the Rubicon trail or regional rock features early in April.
Loon Lake is a great place to visit for kayaking, swimming, fishing etc. a beautiful clear water lake on the edge of Desolation Wilderness. Also in this region, Union Valley reservoir, Ice House Reservoir, Gerle Creek Reservoir all welcome campers, fishing and additional hiking options.