Not many rivers can match the breathtaking beauty of this one. Located off of Highway 89, just east of McCloud, this river is worth going out of your way to see. It has three awesome waterfalls. Camping sites are available. The hike up to the top of the last waterfall is fairly strenuous, but well worth it--as these photos will attest. I did it in late afternoon, making the light just perfect.
Enjoy views of the majestic 14,162 foot Mount Shasta for 3 hours while on board the Blue Goose Excursion Train. Check in at the 1889 Yreka Depot and Museum, which is on the East side of the Central Yreka I-5 Exit. Here you can browse in the free museum, enjoy the 1000 foot model railroad display and railroad memorabilia. En route you will reach the historic railroad/cattle town of Montague. There you will have an hour to eat lunch or browse through the historic buidings. Engine # 19 was the engine used in the movie, "The Emperor of the North". It was originally named "The Emperor of the North Pole". When this movie was made in the early 1970's it was considered quite violent. There is some information about the movie at the museum. You can purchase a Movie Video there. It's hard to find the movie on any TV Channels. When I did finally see it I was amazed at what a good movie it was!
There is wonderful music and great scenery of the Northern California mountains. There is also quite a bit of humor in the script.
While we were there a fire was burning nearby and Mount Shasta was not visible from a distance but we could see it when we drove into town. This is a pleasant place to enjoy the scenic and cultural attractions of the Shasta-Cascade Wonderland.
During my visit to Mount Shasta, I did a bunch of things that people suggested for me to do, most of all hiking. But I found that the best thing to do is just to take a slow drive on the roads going by the mountain and just taking in the scenery!!
Way up high in some mountains a ways from Lake Siskiyou. The local indigenous people (the Shasta & Wintu) referred to Castle Lake as the castle of the devil. For them, the waters were said to be possessed of an evil spirit most often heard in the winter months.
In truth, Castle Lake is a place of special beauty. An extra plus is we were its only tourists when we were there. We, romantically had it all to ourselves.
This dam is kind of scary to be close to. There are lots of signs posted warning about electric shock and death danger. So, obviously it must be a dam for generating electricity. The view is equally terrifying for someone like me a bit afraid of heights but, on the other hand the landscape here is fascinating. To boot, while we were there, there were some very high winds which added a bit to my anxiety.
I've seen far better more impressive dams but, but with a short hike in my curiosity drove me to see this one since we were in the area. The weather was bad yet, I pressed on and I saw this little tiny dam. Not much to take pictures at. This can pretty much be passed up on where not to get excited over seeing. But, being that I like to take pictures anyway this is what I got.
The final picture I put first.
As we only had time to see the lower falls when we first arrived we had to put off seeing the other parts or the McCloud River falls another day.
It was also a little more difficult for us to find the turn off point for getting here. You might be driving around a bit as some of the signs were confusing.
Anyway, we got there and that's what matters. It's an easy hike down to the bottom. Beautiful sight. Beautiful waterfall.
We also got a good view of Majestic Shasta in the background from here.
Near Dunsmuir, of a backstreet road you can find a parking space and hike in toward Mossbrae Falls. In order to get there it takes about 45 minutes and you have to hike along the railway. But, the site is gorgeous and worth the hike.
Driving to the top takes a good 45 minutes. From here you can catch a bit of the Mountain up close. For those that can the summit is another 7,000 feet plus from here and is not visible at this point on the mountain.
My favorite bottled water to drink is Crystal Geyser. What better experience than to drink it from the source.
The source is located near Mount Shasta in Weed, California running along side a community center and park. From here you can drink straight from the spring. Not far from here the water is bottled.
This water is sent all over the world. We buy it were we live in Niigata, Japan and prefer it to other bottled waters.
For more info on the purity of the Crystal Geyser product go here:
External Info from Cystal Geyser
Lying in the shadow of Mt. Shasta, McCloud is surrounded by pine forests and rivers. Not far from Mt. Shasta City, Dunsmuir, Castle Crags, and other scenic spots, McCloud is a pleasant town. And it has a scenic river of its own.with three waterfalls nearby (see the McCloud River page).
Unfortunately, I ran out of time before getting to ride the rails. But the McCloud Railway Company is still alive and well, according to its website. If interested, please visit:
This is a rather quaint, out-of-the-way local history museum staffed by volunteers. They possess a wealth of knowledge about this area. The more you learn about this town, the more interesting it becomes. The building was originally the town jail, and the cells are still here. It's open 10:00-5:00 daily, from late May to the end of September.
Where else but California would there be a town named "Weed"? This town was founded by Abner Weed, a big-time timber magnate. His statue appears on the town square. This was for many years a company town, which employed thousands at the sawmill as well as cutting down timber.
Check out the local museum. It tells a lot about this old town.
At over 14,000 feet, this is the tallest of the Cascades. The main photo shows the trailhead for those hiking to the top. Mt Shasta is all the more spectacular for not having any foothills; on a clear day, it is plainly visible for well over 75 miles.
Climbing Mt. Shasta is recommended only with a professional guide and mountain-climbing gear. Do not attempt this alone, at least not on the first try. However, the mountain is surrounded by hiking trails, which vary in difficulty. If you're not going to the summit, please select one of the other trails instead. There are plenty of good ones.
The headwaters of the Sacramento River burst forth from the rock face at this park. The water, slowly percolating down from Mt. Shasta, comes from the snow melting. From this modest beginning, the river makes its way down to Dunsmuir, then to Sacramento, and ultimately to San Francisco Bay--270 miles away.
This mountain water so pure, that the town doesn't need to chlorinate it. It's the best tap water that I've ever tasted. But don't drink directly from the river. Use one of the water fountains nearby.