“a scenic, hidden little waterfall on the perfect hike”
As I-5 leaves Dunsmuir and begins its climb up toward Mount Shasta drivers may notice signs proclaiming the park at Hedge Creek Falls. Although many travelers may be curious about the waterfall, they often do not stop and continue on toward the giant volcano further up the highway. This leaves Hedge Creek Falls and its accompanying trail to locals for the most part. What they miss is a very nice waterfall and a short but extremely pretty trail that has far more to recommend it than might be expected. Of course, the primary attraction is Hedge Creek Falls itself. The cataract is about 30-35 foot plunge that pours out of large notch cut through a hanging wall of columnar basalt. It is not a grand sight but it is very nice. What does set the trail apart from other paths in the area that lead to waterfalls is the route’s passage behind the waterfall. The columnar basalt has collapsed at its base, creating a large cleft through in the rock through which the trail passes. From there it descends downward along Hedge Creek, passing numerous smaller cataracts before finally ending at an observation deck high over the creek’s confluence with the Sacramento River. From here there is a fantastic view of Mount Shasta. This is a great trail to do with small children. The path to Hedge Creek Falls begins at a small picnic area that is situated just across the road from the parking area. There is a table, gazebo, water fountain (only operational from late spring to fall) and some displays about the area. The whole area is perched right on the edge of the canyon above Hedge Creek. The trail departs the picnic area and descends at a very moderate grade. It immediately crosses over a small stream that has been rerouted under the trail through a culvert. The creek may or may not be flowing. The one drawback to the trip to Hedge Creek Falls is the presence of poison oak and this area has the highest concentration of the obnoxious plant. As the trail proceeds, it traverses the increasingly steep slope of Hedge Creek’s canyon. Soon the path reaches a switchback and the falls and its creek become audible. The trail continues downhill for only a few dozen yards before reaching another switchback. The grade levels off as the trail soon arrives at the waterfall.
Really enjoyed the short walk to the fall! The park at the start of the trail is shady, and cool, with a variety of plants, including some blooming rhododendrons. Had tables for picnicking. The hike to fall is very short and it was fun to walk behind the fall!
I visited during June, not much water during this time of the year.
After the Mossbrae Falls, the Hedge Creek Falls are probably the second best place to enjoy a scenic waterfall in Dunsmuir, California.
The main difference between those two is that the Hedge Creek Falls is far more easier to access, there is no risk or adventure what so ever to get there, and of course, because the hiking route is very easy and short is ideal for young children and elderly people, too.
You park just off the freeway at the Siskiyou Ave. exit--west side of the freeway. Then you walk downhill for about 100 ft and there you are. You can take a picnic basket with you and have some great time next to the cool environment of the waterfall.
Because during the summer period the water capacity is rather low, you'd better visit it during early spring or early winter!!! Great place for photos and a serene picnic with families and friends in a pure natural landscape!!!
Nice short walk to fall and creek.
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Hedge Creek Falls
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