When wandering around Shasta and Dunsmuir California this magical fall is not to be missed. Hedgecreek Falls is a gorgeous and rapidly flowing (spring and summer) waterfall falling 30+ feet over the mouth of a rock shelter/cave on Hedge Creek. It is but a small fall of a stream during fall and winter. Because the rock shelter /cave is behind the waterfall, visitors can view the waterfall from the inside and outside walking behind it. Hedgecreek Falls and the creek flows into the Sacramento River just south of Mossbrae Falls.
You can view the falls from above over the river as well as at its base and from behind the falls. It’s easy falls to get to with a short hike from the parking lot at the trail head off Dunsmuir Avenue at the Siskiyou Avenue exit off Interstate 5. These falls flow over the southernmost tip of a pre-Pleistocene lava flow that originated from Mount Shasta. Hundreds of thousands of years of erosion since the lava flowed in this area with summers of heating and winters of freezing the water trapped in the cracks of the basalt face carved and sculpted the basalt rocks to create the face of the falls and the columns that give it such an ancient temple-like appearance.
The columnar basalt is caused when lava cools and cracks forming vertical roughly hexagonal shaped columns of rock. The waters come from several volcanic occurrences through history that opened up the aquifer, not from glacial melt of Mount Shasta like many believe. The hiking trail is .7 mile length over 200 feet of elevation variation. There are several iron-rich springs seeping out of the walls of the back wall making a red-orange ochre-like clay pool as it seeps into the creek. Visitors from the ages have dabbed the palms of their hands into these pools and have left their mark of handprints on the stones and walls of the cave. It is said these falls were sacred to the ancients.
Bibliography, Recommended Reading, References:
- Hike Mt. Shasta undated “Hedge Creek Falls Trail”. Website referenced April 3, 2014, at http://hikemtshasta.com/sacramento-river-trails/hedge-creek-falls-trail/.
- Reichow, Paul June 1, 2010 “All things Shasta: Hedgecreek Falls”. Website referenced April 3, 2014, at http://allthingsshasta.com/wordpress/?p=72.
- Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia undated “Hedgecreek Falls”. Website referenced April 3, 2014, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedge_Creek_Falls.Review / History fact from the tale: 3/30/14: Searching for TelosThese tales don’t come cheap … if you enjoy them, please consider buying the adventurers a chai, a meal, a tank of gas, or lodging so they can continue on their quest … you can do so via PayPal to email@example.com or via the link below …