For the direct route (counterclockwise loop), walk straight (SE) on Ramona Falls Trail 797 along the Mesa river through the thin trees with Mesa ample sun.
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1 mi up to the junction with Timberline Trail 600/PCT 2000 (newer signage). Those trails run concurrently with part of the Mesa Falls loop before moving N up the mountain or moving right here at the fork down SE over the Sandy River, then fairly steep several miles up to Paradise Park and beyond. Resume left instead up dusty Trail 797 about 5 mi without difficulty past rhododendrons to the falls within the thicker forest and enjoy the splendor even though there’s a good chance you won’t be alone. Check out different angles of the dazzling, splayed-out, year-round cascade (120 ft high) before departing.
For the more interesting segment of the loop, walk across the footbridge below the falls to an immediate intersection (right is Trail 600) and walk left (NW) at the fork nearest Ramona Creek on Trail 797 for a more scenic return losing the equestrians for the next segment. The Mesa path down is only slightly narrower but quite enjoyable as you pass a huge cliff wall at the bottom of Yocum Ridge, several tiny cascades on the creek, and a few footbridges throughout the beautiful green forest almost 2 mi from Ramona Falls to the next juncture in the flats. The trail only becomes a bit sandier and rockier to the juncture.
Turn left (SW, opposite the PCT Shortcut) on Trail 797 for 5 mi to the end of the loop, passing the equestrian spur then a solid bridge over Ramona Creek in the woods to the intersection near the Sandy River. Turn right at the end of the loop to the parking lot by continuing more than 1/2 mi to the TH using utmost caution crossing the river again.
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