Similar to hideout entrances seen in Batman movies and the Legend of Zorro, Hedge Creek Falls cascades in front of the passage to a 12-foot-high cave. The narrow waterfall hardly obscures the not-so-secret cave meaning that you won’t stumble upon any masked heroes on your trip to the feature. Still, the trip the Hedge Creek Falls is well worth the drive the Dunsmuir, CA. Along with the waterfall, visitors can take in incredible views of the Sacramento River and Mt. Shasta from the Hedge Creek Falls Trail.
Hikers of all ages and abilities can complete the trip to the falls as the walk there is both short (less than a mile) and easy. Once you reach the parking area, you walk across the street to a small gathering space with picnic tables and a water fountain. This area overlooks the canyon above Hedge Creek. You’ll see the clearly distinguishable trail.
As you begin, the path starts to descend moderately, and you pass a tiny creek. As the grade of the canyon gets steeper, you begin to go down via a number of switchbacks until you’ll start to hear flowing and falling water. Before you know it, you’re at Hedge Creek Falls. At this point, the trail continues behind the waterfall providing an intimate feel for hikers. On some days, you can spot rock climbers attempting to ascend the igneous rock wall that reaches 30-35 feet to the source of the cascade.
After you reach the falls, the trail continues following Hedge Creek. I recommend going further than just the falls as you’ll spot some cool, smaller waterfalls. Also, at the end of the route, visitors can look on from an observation deck that overlooks the Sacramento River and reveals a partially obscured view of Mt. Shasta. It may only take you a few minutes to get to the end of the trail, but there’s still plenty to do. In the warmer months, you can play in a nearby swimming hole adjacent to the observation deck. There’s also an unmarked, steep path that leads to the top of the falls as well as a climb over a rocky slope prior to the deck that provides better views of the river and Mt. Shasta.
From I-5 heading north, pass through Dunsmuir and take the Siskiyou Ave exit. Turn left, pass under the freeway and immediately turn right onto Mott Road. The parking lot is on the right.
From I-5 heading south from Mount Shasta, take the Siskiyou Ave exit. Turn right and right again. The parking area is immediately on the right.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine