Not every year are you able to make it to Bassi Falls early in May, but this year you can already drive to the trailhead parking without a problem. This makes for an easy 0.5-mile trek to the falls (instead of the normal hoofing it in from Ice House Road this early in the season). The word must have already gotten out, because this weekend we shared the trail with families with cooler chests, babies in Elmer Fudd hats, older people, out-of-breath people, and even a metal-detecting hiker. Happy dogs had their humans take them to the water, with a number of nice pools to play in. The water is very cold from the snowmelt, but dogs and many children did not seem to notice.
To reach the falls, take Ice House Road off Highway 50 into the Crystal Basin Recreation Area (about 5.0 miles from Fresh Pond). Travel 16.4 miles on Ice House Road and just after crossing the bridge for Big Silver Creek make a right onto Road 12N32A (just across from Big Silver Creek Campground). The road quickly becomes graded gravel (and soon graded dirt) and at 0.2 mile, you need to make a left turn onto the road to Bassi Falls. It is now another 1.4 miles to the parking area and trailhead with room for about 20 cars. Do not miss that turn at 0.2 miles, or you will continue on a dirt road to nowhere.
The trail is easy to follow on your way into the falls, as you will hear and see them well enough to guide you over the granite at the end of the trail. On your return, however, it is easy to miss the trail along the granite portion. So, be sure on your way in to note large boulders or dead trees and other markers to help on the return. You have a slight climb out from the falls (hence the out-of-breath hikers), so make sure the kids and puppies do not expend all of their energy playing at the falls. Also, beware the falls themselves are extremely dangerous – do not attempt to climb up the wet rocks. There is a primitive spur trail to take you to the headwaters if you like. As you look at the falls, the spur starts on the left and you will have no wet rocks to maneuver, but it is a steep climb no suited for everyone.