SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST
NEAR MCCLOUD, CALIFORNIA
Activity: Day Hike, chasing waterfalls
Distance :4 miles, elevation gain: 350’, 90 minutes duration, rated Easy
Date: June 25, 2020
This out and back Easy hike has the extra bonus of not one, not just two, but listen to this, three beautiful waterfalls in the Mount Shasta area. The trails winds along the McCloud River at the southern base of Mount Shasta. That whole Siskiyou County is a very special place. The McCloud Waterfalls Trail is a beautiful trail through spectacular woods just off of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Hwy 89).
You could actually drive to a scenic overlook of each of the wonderful falls, but why in the heck would you do that if you can hike it, for goodness sake!?
Chasing Waterfalls in the Siskiyou in the shadow of magnificent Mount Shasta, that is ‘Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’. Waterfalls just tug at your heart strings like few things can. The music of the cascading water as it takes the plunge and crashes over the rocks below beckons throughout the forest, as you breath in the pine scent and drink in all the sights, sounds and the experience.
I started out at a parking area at the McCloud Lower Falls. This area is popular because it makes a great swimming and cliff jumping area. The next falls along the trail is the McCloud Middle Falls. The waterfall is 44’ high and has the distinction of being the widest in California at 120’ across.
There is a campground along the trail, Fowlers Campground and the folks there looked very content with the hiking, swimming, and just relaxing. This isn’t the first encampment there as a one time in the past there were cottages and a historic hotel. Besides that you can trace back to native peoples using the area for hunting and fishing for a couple thousand years.
The third falls is Upper McCloud Falls. There are other waterfalls in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest area, but to have three falls right together and with the amount of water tumbling over them from the McCloud River makes this a must see. I added a little to my hike as I wanted to see the view from above and climbed the trail each time to the observation area above. I also went a little past the trail along the river which was also quite nice.
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Pursuing Balance Through Adventure