“Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild” – Yates
We spent Memorial Day Weekend 2017 hiking in the wilderness and exploring the waterfalls in the Shasta Cascade region.
Day 1 – Lassen National Forest area
Most of Lassen National Park was still inaccessible by road due to snow. Fortunately, the entrance near Manzanita Lake was open for 10 miles. We hiked the Chaos Crags trail which was accessible by foot from the parking lot near Loomis museum/ Manzanita Lake. The trail was beautiful with the sound of running water for the initial part of the hike. There were majestic Ponderosa pines all along the trail. There was still some snow towards the latter part of the trail. We were lucky that we had waterproof hiking boots. The trail ends at the Crags lake with an amazing view of the Chaos Crags.
After this hike, we went to the Devastation intepretive trail to learn about the eruption of Lassen Peak in 1914. We also got to see the majestic snow covered Lassen Peak from there.
We finished the day by exploring Subway Cave, a lava tube in the Hat Creek valley near Old Station. It was a fun experience to walk inside the lava tube and explore it. Flashlights and sturdy shoes are needed to explore the cave.
Day 2 – Wonderful waterfalls of Siskiyou and Shasta counties
It is a fairly short hike down to Hedge Creek falls in Dunsmuir. While it is a small waterfall, it was really nice to be able to walk into the cave behind the waterfall. The trail continues to a viewpoint of the Sacremento river but we didn’t do that.
We headed to Mossbrae falls next. The hike to the falls is just over a mile from the Shasta Retreat in Dunsmuir. The trail is along the Upper Sacramento River and Pacific Union’s railroad tracks. Sturdy footwear is a must to walk along the tracks. It is not an official trail and we heard that trains still run on this railroad. We kept both our eyes and ears open for trains and always stayed on the side of the tracks that was wider than the other side. However, we probably didn’t see any trains because of the holiday schedule. The falls are spectacular and totally worth the hike.
We made a brief stop at McCloud to check out the annual mushroom festival. It was a nice break to check out the stalls in the festival. We had picnic mats with us and were happy to put up our feet for a bit to the view of snowy Mt. Shasta and some amazing live music.
Our last stop was the 1 mile loop trail to Burney Falls in the McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park. We reached there an hour before sunset. It was truly spectacular to see and hear the gushing sound of these falls.