The McCloud River begins near the slopes of Mount Shasta, travels near the town of McCloud, passes through the the Nature Conservancy’s McCloud River Preserve, and empties into Shasta Lake just north of Redding. It’s a prime trout fishing and hiking spot, and is especially famous for its three waterfalls: Lower McCloud Falls, Middle McCloud Falls, and Upper McCloud Falls.
McCloud Falls Hiking Trail
A fantastic trail takes you to all three cascades. It’s covered in detail in 100 Classic Hikes: Northern California, fourth edition, and Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions, both published in 2018 by Mountaineers Books in Seattle.
Briefly, the trail begins at the picnic area at Fowler’s Campground at Lower McCloud Falls. It runs a nearly level mile beside the McCloud River to Middle McCloud Falls, the most impressive of the bunch. From there, it climbs 0.8 mile to a vista of Upper McCloud Falls (watch young children carefully near steep areas). There is excellent swimming in the cold water at the two lower waterfalls, but not the upper.
Fowler’s Campground is accessed by forest roads from the south side of Highway 89 about 15 miles east of the town of Mount Shasta, and a few miles beyond the town of McCloud.
Lower McCloud Falls and Middle McCloud Falls Photos
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