Nature Conservancy’s McCloud River Preserve

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by Shasta Cascade on June 10, 2010

The McCloud River Preserve is a wonderful, 2,300 acre preserve on the lower McCloud River with three miles of hiking trails and limited access for fisherman.  The McCloud River courses through this Preserve for a total of some 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) and drops about 120 meters (400 feet) in this stretch.

Below the Preserve, the McCloud River flows through privately owned land until it empties into Lake Shasta.

The Preserve was given as a gift to the Nature Conservancy by the nearby privately owned McCloud River Club.

It’s a remote setting, 20 miles outside of the town of McCloud and requires a walk in from the parking lot at the end of the road.

Walking along the river you may see a host of wildflowers (usually fairly early in the season, say May-ish), dogwoods in bloom, butterflies, osprey and eagles overhead, otters frolicking and the glimmering, clear waters of the McCloud River. Think of it as a scavenger hunt – bring your wildflower and tree books, make sure the camera’s charged, pack a lunch and head out for adventure. Be prepared to be immersed in wilderness – while the Nature Conservancy does have a cabin (for the caretakers), fish cleaning and picnic structures it is otherwise a setting free from the constructs of humans – you’re entering wilderness.

The McCloud River Preserve trail generally opens sometime in April (it all depends on snow pack). One way to get a sense for whether it has opened or not is to check with the McCloud Ranger Station (530.964.2184) to find out if the road to Ah-Di-Na Campground is open. You can also call the Nature Conservancy’s San Francisco office (415.777.0487) to inquire about conditions as well as to reserve one of the 5 available fishing permits (5 are available on a first-come, first-served basis for walk-ins). Check out the Nature Conservancy’s McCloud River Preserve page to get more info about this great area.

Click here for the Nature Conservancy’s McCloud River Preserve webpage.

Information on the trees, plants and animals in the preserve, click here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert shontz April 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Was at mccloud concervancy 4/27/13 for opening day trout season…absolutely beautiful place…saw a concervancy hat for sale but nobody around..was wondering if for sale through you or at con.only..any info is appreciated thank you

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