McCloud River – Lower, Middle and Upper Falls
All three of these waterfalls are within about one mile of each other, yet each is uniquely beautiful, and has their own personality. At Upper Falls, the quiet river gathers itself into a massive rock chute, charging the water full of energy before it spills into a pool far below. Middle Falls spreads a sheet of falling water over a lava cliff, into a large pool. The water is icy cold, but in the summer you will find people frolicking in it. Lower Falls is a small chute spilling into a pool below. Access to all three falls has been greatly improved in recent years by the Forest Service. There is a trail connecting all three, which is partially wheelchair accessible. The trail is approximately 1 ½ miles long, one way. There are picnic tables and restrooms at the Lower Falls area. There is a parking area and restrooms at the Middle Falls. From the parking area you can choose to walk just a short distance to an overlook above the falls or travel down the trail to the pool.
Directions: From Mt. Shasta, go about a mile south of town to the beginning of Highway 89. The sign will say to McCloud, Susanville, or Reno. Travel over the hill about 10 miles to the town of McCloud. Continue traveling east on highway 89 five miles beyond McCloud, slow down when you see a McCloud River Access sign. Turn right at the Forest Service sign “Fowler’s Campground Lower Falls” Go straight past the entrance to the campground to reach the Lowers Falls area in about ½ mile. If you want to go to Middle Falls take the paved road to the east and travel about ½ mile. To reach Upper Falls by car, travel about another ½ mile past the Middle Falls parking area. This road is actually a loop and continues on to Lakin Dam and Cattle Camp, then back to Highway 89 in about 6 miles.
Burney Falls is not the highest nor largest waterfall in the north state but many people consider it the most beautiful. The falls continue to flow at the same rate all year long – about 100 million gallons daily. The water temperature, even on hot summer days is always about 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The 129 foot high waterfall cascades into an almost iridescent pool underneath. This state park offers camping, long and short hiking trails, and picnic areas.
Directions: To reach McArthur-Burney Falls State Park from Mt. Shasta travel east on Highway 89, about 55 miles from Interstate 5. Turn right into the State Park.
Hedge Creek Falls
These falls are unique and beautiful as they cascade from multiple sources on a high moss and fern covered bank and fall into the Sacramento River. Charles Bolton, better known as Black Bart, robbed a stage coach just above the falls on October 25, 1879. Evidence found at the time indicated that Black Bart hid in the shallow cave behind the falls prior to the holdup.
Directions: Exit Interstate 5 at the first Dunsmuir exit if you are coming from the north. Take the Dunsmuir Ave/ Siskiyou Ave exit. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right and you will see the parking area for Hedge Creek Falls. The trail is to the right of the gazebo and the waterfall is down the trail about 500 feet.