Hedge Creek Falls

Dunsmuir / Mt Shasta, California, USA

About Hedge Creek Falls


Hiking Distance: 1/4-mile round trip
Suggested Time: 20-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2016-06-19
Date last visited: 2016-06-19

Waterfall Latitude: 41.23731
Waterfall Longitude: -122.26875

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Hedge Creek Falls was the other main waterfall attraction in Dunsmuir.

Unlike the more tense Mossbrae Falls experience, this was quite literally a short walk in the park.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_077_06192016 - Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge Creek Falls

This was a pleasant 30ft waterfall that also had the added bonus of being flanked by hexagonal basalt cliffs.

Moreover, it featured a deep enough alcove in back of the falls to let us have that rare experience of being behind a waterfall!

Indeed, the brief walk down from the Hedge Creek Picnic Area was a mere quarter-mile round trip.

Even its trailhead access was quite literally almost right next to the I-5 off-ramp making it the perfect place to stretch your legs and take a break from the long drives along the I-5.

Plans for a safer trail to Mossbrae Falls

Mossbrae_Falls_046_06192016 - Mossbrae Falls
Mossbrae Falls

There have been plans since before 2011 to make this experience more than just a stroll as various interests desired to build a trail that would start at Hedge Creek Falls and ultimately link up with the nearby Mossbrae Falls.

In fact, we even noticed the trail continuing beyond Hedge Creek Falls though we didn’t go far enough down that trail to see where it went.

You can read more about the story behind that development on our Mossbrae Falls page.

Experiencing Hedge Creek Falls

From the trailhead parking (see directions below), we took the crosswalk traversing Dunsmuir Ave.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_010_06192016 - The garden and gazeebo near the trail leading down to the Hedge Creek Falls
The garden and gazeebo near the trail leading down to the Hedge Creek Falls

Then, we walked right into a little park with a garden as well as a little gazeebo with some signage about a Lion’s Club here.

The trail then promptly descended a couple of gentle switchbacks before reaching the level of Hedge Creek.

Next, we went upstream approaching the popular Hedge Creek Falls.

Most of our time spent here was pretty much chilling around this falls, where we got to view it from various angles on both sides of the creek as well as from its backside.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_012_06192016 - Mom on the trail descending to the bottom of Hedge Creek Falls
Mom on the trail descending to the bottom of Hedge Creek Falls

The basalt columns flanking the falls here were very interesting as apparently a mixture of hard basaltic lava hardened by a glacier was likely to have been the geologic ingredients necessary to give rise to this waterfall.

Anyways, out of the 45 minutes we spent away from the car, I’d say we probably only spent around 15-20 minutes on the trail (encompassing both directions).

Hedge Creek Falls was flowing pretty well during our visit though we happened to be here in mid-June on a year where Northern California received some much-needed precipitation (although not as much as was hoped for).

I’ve read that not much deeper into the Summer months, this falls could reduce to a trickle and even go dry.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_030_06192016 - Looking up towards the top of Hedge Creek Falls flanked by interesting basalt columns
Looking up towards the top of Hedge Creek Falls flanked by interesting basalt columns

As for the lighting, we were here in the late morning, and we pretty much looked against the sun towards the falls when we were on the far side of Hedge Creek.

For that reason, I’d imagine afternoon or earlier in the morning (when the sun still hadn’t penetrated the canyon floor) would be the best times to photograph the falls.

Authorities

Mossbrae Falls resides near Dunsmuir in Siskiyou County, California. It is administered by the City of Dunsmuir. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_002_06192016 - A welcoming train-silhouetted sign indicating that we were indeed in the right place for Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_009_06192016 - This was the pretty little garden that we noticed before the Hedge Creek Falls Trail veered to the right and descended towards Hedge Creek
Hedge_Creek_Falls_015_06192016 - Mom rounding one of two switchbacks on the short trail to Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_017_06192016 - Mom approaching Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_024_06192016 - Mom checking out the Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_045_06192016 - Looking back towards the Hedge Creek Falls and its U-shaped hanging gorge
Hedge_Creek_Falls_048_06192016 - Frontal look at Hedge Creek Falls from the far side of Hedge Creek
Hedge_Creek_Falls_056_06192016 - Long exposed frontal trailside look at the Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_087_06192016 - Broad look at the Hedge Creek Falls from the trail
Hedge_Creek_Falls_093_06192016 - Looking more closely at the basalt columns to the left side of the Hedge Creek Falls
Hedge_Creek_Falls_099_06192016 - Last look back at Hedge Creek Falls before we headed back up
Hedge_Creek_Falls_101_06192016 - Mom returning to the trailhead parking area for Hedge Creek Falls

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We’ll pick up the driving directions from the city of Redding (even though we were actually staying in the town of Red Bluff some 30 miles further to the south along the I-5).

Redding seemed to be a pretty central location for not only the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, but it was also reasonably close to other attractions like Lassen Volcanic National Park as well as Mt Shasta.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_102_06192016 - Looking back at the parking across the street from the Hedge Creek Falls Trailhead
Looking back at the parking across the street from the Hedge Creek Falls Trailhead

From the Hwy 44/I-5 interchange, we continued north along the interstate for roughly 53.5 miles (about an hour’s drive) to the Dunsmuir Ave/Siskiyou Ave off-ramp (exit 732).

This off-ramp was roughly 4.5 miles north of the vista point turnoff with a view of Mt Shasta and 1.5 miles north of the exit 730 ramp that we took to access Mossbrae Falls.

We then turned left to access Dunsmuir Ave before turning right onto Dunsmuir Ave.

Almost immediately after turning right, the roadside shoulder that was there also acted as the Hedge Creek Falls Trailhead Parking (almost right across from a Castle Rock Water facility).

Hedge_Creek_Falls_003_06192016 - Context of Dunsmuir Ave and the parking for Hedge Creek Falls
Context of Dunsmuir Ave and the parking for Hedge Creek Falls

A couple of signs (including one across the street with a silhouette of a train as Dunsmuir had quite a bit of a locomotive history that would make Thomas proud) ensured that we were in the right place.

This drive would take roughly an hour from Redding.

Alternatively, if we were going south on the I-5 from Mt Shasta, then it would be roughly 6.5 miles south before the Dunsmuir Ave/Siskiyou Ave exit 732.

Once we’d get off at this exit, we’d then make consecutive right turns to access the trailhead parking.

Hedge_Creek_Falls_005_06192016 - Looking back towards the freeway on-ramps and off-ramps for the I-5 at the exit 732
Looking back towards the freeway on-ramps and off-ramps for the I-5 at the exit 732

Finally, if we had just finished the Mossbrae Falls hike, then we just had to drive north on Dunsmuir Ave for about 3/4-mile through Central Dunsmuir to the trailhead parking on the right.

To give you an idea of the geographical context, Redding was 217 miles (over 3 hours drive) north of San Francisco, 162 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) north of Sacramento, 150 miles (2.5 hours drive) south of Medford, Oregon, and 546 miles (over 7.5 hours drive) north of Los Angeles.

Checking out the basalt columns before checking out the falls from all the different angles including behind it


Higher vantage point inspection of the falls from the mouth of a small cave

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Tagged with: dunsmuir, mt shasta, mount shasta, siskiyou, northern california, california, waterfall, hedge creek, behind



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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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