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Zim Zim Falls, Knoxville State Ranch Wildlife Area, Knoxille, Napa County

Quite a day. There’s a 100-foot-tall waterfall that’s the central attraction of this hike but just getting to it was a challenge. We could see it from a ridge but there was no clear way to get to it. So a few of our group members, including yours truly, tried the head-straight-toward-it-and-ignore-the-brush-trees-rocks-in-the-path approach. A bit crazy to reach the base of the falls but worthwhile. Had lunch at the bottom, and despite the drought in the area, the water was flowing pretty well and I got to soak my feet for a bit and enjoy the cool water. The hike was a giant loop that’s about 11 miles and includes lots of cutting back, uphills and downhills, and crossing some streams. The streams were mostly non-existent but all the switchbacks were pretty tough. By the time we got back to the trailhead where a few of had parked our cars, it was nice to celebrate with some cold drinks. Like I’ve said before, this is a cool group of people I’ve started hiking and exploring with. So we were enjoying just hanging post-hike when it dawned on us that two of our group hadn’t made it back yet. Oops. After some searching, whistle-blowing and hustling, they were found. Moral of the story — uh, don’t lose people? Stay together? Bring whistles? Drink fast? In any case, a beautiful hike. The trails weren’t well-defined since this is basically state-owned passive conservation land and not a designated park, but it was clear enough that we found our way. (Or at least most of us did.)