Wednesday, June 13, 2012

McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange McCloud,CA


290 Quincy Ave McCloud, CA

ExploringNorCal.com is all about getting out and enjoying our local outdoors & for visitors to Northern California to have good directions so they, too, can enjoy our public lands. The abundance and diversity of California's national parks & forests, BLM land, state and local parks are some of California's greatest attractions, making it a world class destination for outdoor adventurers'. One area I had over looked for years was the Mt. Shasta area. In the past few years I have explored around the area but I have barely scratched the surface of what this area has to offer. What makes it even more incredible is that it is lesser known than the Lake Tahoe area, which in the summer can become overcome with tourists. For the outdoor adventurer type McCloud, CA is a good point to start your adventure, just 10 miles from Interstate 5 on CA Hwy 89. The area offers camping, waterfalls, kayaking, boating, caving, hiking, snow skiing, swimming and more, all just minutes away from McCloud.


McCloud Outdoors Gear For All Seasons
Another great reason to begin your Mt. Shasta area adventure in McCloud, CA is that McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange recently opened at 209 Quincy Ave. McCloud Outdoors has everything you need to enjoy the area. The owners of this business have many years of outdoor adventure experience including teaching advanced swift water rescue, confined space rescue and technical rope rescue classes. They can assist you and give you advice for whatever your adventure level may be, from simple family outing to guided trips such as climbing, caving, kayaking, rafting, shooting and more!

Even if your planing on going on your own adventure, McCloud Outdoors has items you may need. McCloud Outdoors offers top quality new and gently used outdoor gear for all seasons, additionally they rent bikes, kayaks and other outdoor gear. Helmets, gloves, and flashlights are items I often misplace or overlook. Mccloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange is a great place to pick up that last minute necessity. Every outdoors adventurer knows how much that one important piece of gear can make or break the trip, be it the kayak oar, the dry bag or jacket you left buy the door.
Quality New & Gently Used Gear For Any Outdoor Adventures
The best part of McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange is that you will be doing business with people who want you to have fun and enjoy your visit. McCloud Outdoors will do everything they can to make sure you get the right product or enjoy your scheduled trip. Right now the store is open Thursday through Monday and available by appointment on Tuesday & Wednesday. 

McCloud has a small grocery store, gas station, a few small restaurants and a historic downtown area. Most of this town was built by the lumber industry, the lumber was then transported by rail. Looking around McCloud much of its history is ever present. From the McCloud Railway Company rail cars that are just off main street to the large mill and open field from the former McCloud River Lumber Company.

Mt. Shasta from McCloud, CA
If you click on the link below it will link you to all of our articles that are around the McCloud/Shasta Area. Also here are some other links to other useful info for the area.

One last note please remember to Like Us on Facebook (ExploringNorCal.com) and/or subscribe/follow us with your Google Reader or other news and blog feeds using the tools on the right of the page. 





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Monday, June 11, 2012

Hedge Creek Falls, Dunsmuir, CA




I understand the trail to Mossbrae Falls is closed here is a near-by alternative quick trip.

Hedge Creek Falls is located in the northern part of the City of Dunsmuir, CA just off of Interstate 5, Exit 732. Turn West on Siskiyou Ave and Turn Right on to Mott Rd. Park immediately to the Right in the gravel lot facing the freeway. You kind of need to hop the curb into the gravel parking area. The park is small and hard to see from the road, a newly painted cross walk helps mark the entrance just north of a large blue metal building.

Hedge Creek Falls
There is a very small landscaped park area with a picnic table and a drinking fountain. The trail is obvious and pretty easy for people of all ages. After a quick switch back you can see Hedge Creek running down the canyon to meet the Sacramento River and hear the 30' falls which lie just a short walk ahead. This video was shot in July the flow was a little stronger then it appears in the video, you can get wet but there is no where to swim. You can walk around and under the falls in the cave, it is about 15' deep and can be up to about 12' high. The trail continues a short distance further to an observation deck overlooking the Sacramento River. You might even get to see a train across the river on the Union Pacific tracks. The whole round trip is under half a mile and can take less then 15 minutes but you should give yourself longer to appreciate the area.

If you are going to be in this area and you are in need of some outdoor gear or to arrange a guided trip, check out the newly (5/25/12) opened McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.

This is a pretty well know spot so expect to see people here at any time of year. On a recent winter trip to the area the falls had about two and a half times the flow then in this picture. In the summer the massive stone walls that surround the falls weep and have moss and ferns growing on them, in the winter the rock walls can be frozen over and have small icicles hanging them. Use caution in winter, the trail around the falls can be iced over as well!

A couple local legends about Hedge Creek Falls; first it is said to be the location that stagecoach robber Black Bart hid out for a time to avoid a local posse. Second is that CalTrans had to redesign Interstate 5 at the cost of one million dollars to preserve Hedge Creek Falls. I have no idea if either is true.

I have no information for current access to Mossbrae Falls. The City, County and the Union Pacific Railroad seem to have closed access via the rail right-of-way for safety reasons. I have found a few articles that discuss plans to extend the Hedge Creek Falls trail to Mossbrae but I have not seen a timeline or any firm information for such a project.

If your in this area you should make an effort to head to McCloud Falls, its just 20 minutes away East on CA Hwy 89. Also If you are in need of some outdoor gear while in the area check out the newly opened McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange in McCloud, for quality new and slightly used gear. This business just opened in the end of May 2012 its a great store run by some great people and I will be posting on it soon.

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Here are a few other links for the area

Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce 

Sacramento River Org

McCloud Chamber of Commerce 


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Mendo Rock, N. Cow Mountain - BLM



This is an accumulation of footage taken over a few different trips up N. Cow Mountain, mostly shot in the earlier spring months. Here is a trip I put together from doing some camera mounting test runs. From my uncut footage I think I can post a few different trips in this area.


If you don't like the driving part of the video skip ahead to 5:15 for an AMAZING 360 degree view from the top of Mendo Rock.

Ukiah, CA
Exit US Hwy 101 East to Talmage. The video picks up on Talmage Road aka CA Hwy 222, takes you past the Mill Creek County Park area and delivers you to Mendo Rock in the N. Cow Mountain Recreational Area. Mendo Rock sits on the line between Mendocino and Lake Counties, although the rocks peek sits in Mendocino County. Be aware that only the first 4.7 of the 10 miles is paved, although the road gets pretty narrow and you can expect all types of traffic on this popular small road.

Clear Lake, CA
You will pass by three dams on Mill Creek Rd. The lowest is silted to the top and now is just a concrete waterfall. The Middle dam has a pond and you can swim at your own risk as far as I know. The Upper dam has a large pond and is stocked by Fish & Game many times a year. There are trails that start just north of the Upper dam. Look for more posts on this area in the future.

The next 5.3 miles is County Rd 203. It is a dirt road that can be passable by most vehicles in the summer although I recommend something with a little clearance. In the winter/spring months the road can be impassable at times by 2wd vehicles. In winter N. Cow can receive varying amounts of snow, usually above 2500' and up to about 12" near the top. The road is almost never closed and it is maintained by the county, most likely because of the FCC towers near Mendo Rock.
Before PRG Suspension 

The view from Mendo Rock is absolutely amazing. The 360 view at 5:15 on the timeline starts out looking at the south end of Ukiah moving north to Capella and Redwood Valley. After the ripple effect the camera turns into Lake County and continues around to see peaks in Sonoma and Napa Counties. 

There are many uses for the N. Cow Mountain Recreation Area such as hiking, hunting, rifle range, views, mountain biking, equestrian, even an unmaintained primitive campground. Here is a post on the Ukiah Fire Department Explorers fixing up the Willow Creek Trail that leads to a 25' waterfall.

Although N. Cow is open to licensed and registered street legal vehicles only, South Cow is open to OHV vehicles but may be closed due to rain. You can take Mendo-Lake Rd from the lakeport area of CA Hwy 29 to Mill Creek Rd and into the Ukiah area, that's about a 32 mile drive with about 22 on dirt.

For the driving portion of the video I used my Kodak PlaySport Black Pocket Camcorder 1515246. It is nice, cheep, waterproof and shoots in Full 1080p HD, and 720p@60fps for action shots.

For the panoramic 360 view I used my Sony Full HD Handycam Black Camcorder - HDR-CX190/B. If I had panned a little slower the image would have been a little better but if you pause you can see some incredible definition and the camera was only about half way zoomed to get the overall view.

Check out some of links below for other info on this area including a nice map from BLM.

   BLM Ukiah Feild Office                          N. Cow Map                                    S. Cow Map


 
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