Visit Northern California; McCloud Falls

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In my last post I wrote about having family from other parts of the world over for a visit, and trying to share my world with them. During their last day here I took them to McCloud Falls.

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McCloud River Falls, is a scenic waterway with three amazing waterfalls, along a 4 mile well maintained trail. Located in McCloud, northern California.

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I’ve been there more times than I can count, it is easy accessible for anyone. You can either hike between the falls, or just drive to each one of them. The last time I visited it was winter. It’s a gorgeous destination all year round. It was slightly more people this time around. lol. My relatives enjoyed the natural beauty tremendously. I had thought a lot about what to show them, since they traveled so far. I know that their main thing was to see me, but still. The visit was perfect, in every way. We had a goodbye dinner at Yaks, in nearby Dunsmuir. It is voted one of the top 100 restaurants in America. If you’ve been there you know why! It is extraordinary in every way. If you haven’t been there, make sure to pay them a visit. It’s my go-to place when I have guests. Everyone I ever took there LOVES it. When we said our goodbyes my heart was filled with gratitude, and love. I can’t wait to see them again next summer.

I hope you’re having an amazing week ❤

 

Love,

Ms Zen

Hedge Creek Falls & Sacramento River Overlook

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In the weekend coffee share last weekend, I shared that we always go for at least one day trip in the weekend. We do some research, usually over the internet, and set our sails towards an amazing destination in northern California. We drive there, and enjoy the nature for a day. Usually by going for a hike, and having a picnic lunch. If it’s a longer hike we might try some local restaurant for dinner. I’d say that we try a couple new spots every month, and return to a couple favorite spots every month. I had two different ideas for our Mother’s Day weekend adventure. One about an hour drive away, with a waterfall, the other a little further away..well my family voted for the closest one. They didn’t feel like a long drive.

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We set our sails towards Dunsmuir (CA,) where my waterfall idea is located. It was an easy uneventful drive through our northern California landscape. I particularly enjoy driving over Shasta Lake, it’s so beautiful looking down at the lake, with the mountains in the background.

Hedge Creek Falls, is a beautiful spot to stop at, if you’re driving the I-5 and happen to pass Dunsmuir, in northern California. The waterfall is very close to the Dunsmuir Ave/Siskiyou Ave exit of the I-5, and there’s plenty of signs to guide you, and a parking lot dedicated to visitors of the falls.

This fall is sometimes called the million dollar fall. When they built the I-5, the original plans would of destroyed this place. The locals raised hell, and eventually the plans were changed, and now everyone can enjoy this amazing place. Thank you citizens of Dunsmuir!

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There’s a cave behind the falls.

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Hedge Creek Falls is located on the southernmost tip of a pre-Pleistocene lava flow from Mount Shasta. Thousands of years of erosion, mostly from the freezing and thawing of water trapped in cracks on the basaltic face, has resulted in the sheared appearance at the face of the falls. The cave behind the falls is a normal occurrence in thick lava flows and not the result of splashing water. – Wikipedia

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There’s a legend (with some evidence of truth,) about a stage coach robber, named Black Bart, using this cave as his hiding place, back in the 1870’s. I told my daughter about the legend before we visited, and naturally she had to explore every inch of the cave. She crawled under the narrow part you can see in the photo above, to the other entrance (the light by the end of the tunnel.) She hit her head twice, pretty hard. Didn’t think of bringing a helmet..to view a waterfall ..lol. Some people have taken the red clay next to the falls, and made hand prints on the wall.

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The trail continues on the other side of the cave, to a beautiful overlook of the Sacramento River.

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I had seen photos of the waterfall, the cave, and the overlook, but those did not match the beauty that we saw with our own eyes. It was breathtaking.

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I need to go back on a clear day, to see Mt.Shasta from this amazing spot. It was a little cloudy when we were there, and we only saw glimpses of our beautiful volcano. (Speaking of volcanoes, I watched the old movie Dante’s Peak last night. Made me feel good about not living super close to either of our two dormant volcanoes..)

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We wandered of the trail a little bit, and had our picnic lunch by the river.

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After lunch we climbed up on a ridge to enjoy the views. My daughter loves climbing. (It does make me slightly nervous sometimes.)

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I hope you enjoyed our weekend adventure, and that your new week started out in a fantastic way! Time for me to go out and see about my four legged friends outside, and get some work done in the garden, before it get’s to hot. There’s lots of mulching on the schedule today. I believe in lots of mulch, and less weeding. Weeding is not my favorite thing. Let’s grab a cup of coffee soon, OK? Have a great day!

Love,

Ms Zen

A Face in the Crowd 2 – McCloud River

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Yesterday we took a hike along McCloud River, just outside McCloud (CA.) This is a well maintained hike, of an amazing waterway. It’s often challenging to photograph the river, and the three waterfalls along the trail, without accidentally catching a A Face in the Crowd (this week’s photo challenge. Here’s my first entry to the challenge.)

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We did see around 20 people, during the 3-4 hours we spent along the river yesterday, not too bad, for this kind of place.

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My daughter suggested that we built a house next to the lower waterfall! Why not? LOL.

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As always when there’s water included, Gretchen, my dog, had a blast!

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We had hoped for lots of snow, but there was only some patches here and there. The temperature was comfortable, in the upper 30s, and the sun felt warm on our cheeks.

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We started at the lower fall, and hiked out, and back, viewing all three falls. It’s not a very long hike, 3.8 miles all together. It’s perfect for a Sunday stroll with a 5 year old. We stopped many times looking at rocks along the river, crashing some ice, throwing sticks to our dog, comparing different kinds of moss on the trees, and we climbed some bigger boulders on the side of Middle Fall (where we had our picnic lunch.)

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The perfect picnic spot!

We had a fantastic day. I love combining; fresh air, exercise, play, education, exploring, photography, quality family time, and meditation in one outing. That’s the kind of multitasking I like!
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To the right, from where we had our lunch, the pine trees covered the river, making part of it in full shade. The shady patches, like the one on the photo above was really cold.

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This is also Middle Fall, seen from above, further up the trail. We had our lunch on the boulders, in the center, of the bottom of the photo. If you look closely, you can see some people trying to get to that spot. I love how the trail follows the river. It’s a peaceful hike. I believe I’ve done it in all seasons now. They are all wonderful in this magical place.

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This is the Upper Fall, the last one on our trail. We started at the Lower Fall, walked up to Middle Fall, and saw the Upper Fall last. Then we turned around, and walked the same trail back. You can park at any of the falls, and connect to the trail there. You don’t have to do it in a specific order. There’s plenty of parking spots, and clean restrooms at every trail head. This is a hike, or outing for everyone that enjoys beautiful nature. You don’t have to hike if you’re unable to, you can choose to drive to each trailhead and just enjoy the waterfalls.

The easiest way to get there is by taking 1-5 towards McCloud (CA,) and then take Highway 89 for 15 miles, east of the I-5/89 junction, and 5 miles east of McCloud and turn south on Road 40N44. Look for a Fowlers Camp/McCloud Falls sign. It’s easy to find. If you have access to a smartphone, google maps will take you right there.

If you want to stay longer, there’s simple campgrounds next to the falls, but I can highly recommend the RV Park in McCloud, if you’re an RV;er looking for a cool place to spend some time. McCloud also have several B&B with good reputation, but I haven’t personally tried any of them. McCloud is an old logging town, with many beautiful houses, and interesting things to see. There’s an abundance of hiking trail, and Mt Shasta is close by.

I actually shared a post about McCloud Falls in June last year, when this blog was a newborn. Have you seen McCloud River Falls? If so, tell me about your experience! I would love to hear about it!

I hope that your week got off to an awesome start 🙂

Love,

Ms Zen