Trail Review: Mossbrae Falls

by Shasta Cascade on October 23, 2009

mossbraefallsLocated in historic Dunsmuir, Mossbrae Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Siskiyou County.

It’s also unique from most other waterfalls in that it involves a side stream flowing/falling into the river, rather than the falls being the entire river itself.  Also, the Falls stretch about 150 feet around some bends, so it’s almost impossible to get the whole thing in one photograph. It’s an incredible sight to see.

The falls are even impressive in late Fall, when most other falls have diminished to a trickle. It’s November 15th, and it’s cold outside, but any snow is still weeks away.  The deciduous trees (mostly Oak in this area) are changing colors to orange, tan and brown, and provide contrast to the evergreens and conifers.

Sacramento River and Track, looking southBe warned: this is not a drive-up attraction: the entrance is not well marked, and you’ll have to hike about a mile along a graveled railroad track alongside the Sacramento River to get there, but it’s worth it.  The trail involves only a slight elevation gain. Be sure to wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes because the large gravel is unwieldy to walk on, similar to walking on sand.

At some places, there’s not much clearance on the sides of the railroad track: you have a steep incline on one side, and you have a steep dropoff to the river below on the other.  Some hikers have noted on the web that there wouldn’t be much room if a train happened to come by.  Luckily, the tight areas are brief, and I think you’d have plenty of warning if a train came.

Mossbrae Falls Railroad Tressle, looking northJust before you get to this railroad tressle over the river, the Falls will be located to your right (East) side down an embankment. Look carefully for a trail that leads down.

<br /> <a href=”″ mce_href=”″>Mossbrae Falls (Hiking) | Dunsmuir, CA 96025, USA</a><br />

Further reading:

Wikipedia has a nice article about Mossbrae Falls: Wikipedia Entry on Mossbrae Falls

Leon Turnbull is a well-known photographer who has taken pictures of waterfalls throughout North America. You can see his work online, and you can buy prints of his work as well. Leon Turnbull Photography: Mossbrae Falls has a great page with lots of Mossbrae photographs

Park Information Website on Mossbrae Falls

Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce: Mossbrae Falls

A journal of some students who hiked to Mossbrae

Great photo of Mossbrae on Flickr

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