Mossbrae Falls – Dunsmuir, CA

October 20, 2016

When we first started this journey it was to slow life down and to enjoy new things. We didn’t want a schedule or be on a time frame to be anywhere. Slowly but surely that changed. Not in a bad way, but we planned things with family, friends and other must see places. This meant that we were not boondocking as much or when we were in an area we felt like we had to see the attractions there. Even though we have a four season rig, it’s still hard to not be plugged in when it’s 28 degrees or 100 degrees. After a long stretch from Missoula to Los Angeles we decided we need some solitude. Boondocking is hard to find in California and so we didn’t know if we would find a place. Kevin did some research and we found our favorite spot yet.  It’s actually a campground, but it was closed for the season. We still stayed there and only had neighbors 1 night.

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There were fun short walks right outside of the rig and the park there.  To the left is a gravel road you can take for about a mile and to the right is a paved road to a hill that you can walk up to get a great view of Mt. Shasta.

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We were then worried if there would be enough here to occupy us on the days we weren’t just hanging around our rig. Kind of silly considering we wanted to slow down a bit.

Our first hike in the area was Mossbrae Falls. It was a mini adventure just trying to find out how to get to it since there isn’t a designated trail. You either have to trespass and get across the Sacramento River or hike 1.2 mile along an active train track.  After reading multiple blogs we decided on the train track. Families hiked it, so we thought that we would good. I guess 4 years ago a woman died hiking along the tracks with her family so the town discourages it. Bloggers said that despite the risk it was well worth it. The falls were supposed to be like none other. So after hiking around 4 different places we finally found the bridge to get to the tracks. The hike was amazing down the tracks.

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We didn’t see a train either way so it was quiet and right along the river. And spot on, right after 1.2 miles you hit a bridge for the train and you are transcended to another world.  I stopped said wow and just stared.

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Since it was so hard to find, here are detailed directions to get there.

Directions:

This was the hardest part about the hike. We couldn’t find exact directions to get to the hike. Then we came across one blog and we were good.  We parked at the parking for Hedge Creek Falls.  You can park at your own risk in town or closer to the railroad tracks when you get to Shasta Retreat.

  1. If you park at the parking lot for Hedge Creek Falls, stay on the main road.  You will walk on the main road, Dunsmuir Ave. You walk a ways on here.  Maybe just a half mile. On Dunsmuir Ave turn onto Scarlet Way. This is easy to miss depending on what way you are coming (there is full service to see it on google maps), but you will see a large street sign above that says Shasta Retreat.

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  1. You will walk through a small, quiet community. Keep to the right and then you will see the bridge.

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  1. Walk over the bridge and take a right along the train tracks. This is a fun, mildly scary and beautiful hike. Beware of the trains that could go by.  Stay on the east side of the tracks and be mindful of the drop offs here and there and you will be fine. You will want sturdy shoes as the rocks are somewhat difficult to hike on.

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  1. Walk 1.2 miles and you will see another bridge that is just for the train.

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  1. When you see the bridge go right and find the little paths people have made and make your way down to the falls!

Enjoy and be safe!

There is another hike we did while we were in the area. For an easy, beautiful hike around a lake, head to Lake Siskiyou Trail. Dog friendly!

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Eventually the weather started getting bad in the area. Wind was crazy and our RV was exposed so on to the next place!

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