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 

View Hedge Creek Falls in a larger map

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