Hedge Creek Falls Trail

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
1.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
49 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Hedge Creek Falls Trail

The Hedge Creek Falls Trail boasts wonderful scenery and intriguing geological features. Flowing 11 m from Hedge Creek over the basaltic overhang into the rocky ravine, the cave behind the veil beckons exploration. Hikers of all skill levels and ages will enjoy this short but scenic adventure.

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Route Description for Hedge Creek Falls Trail

Conveniently located off the I-5, the Hedge Creek Falls Trail attracts plenty of spontaneous traffic eager to explore. Though these cascades often surge year-round, we encourage visitors to head out in the summer and spring to enjoy the falls when they are at their fullest. If you are one of the few daring enough to head out in the winter, we encourage you to strap on a pair of microspikes to safely navigate the likely icy terrain. No matter the season, you can expect more traffic in the afternoon, so head out in the early morning for a more tranquil experience. Additionally, during your journey on the Hedge Creek Falls trail, be mindful of poison ivy and slippery rocks!

There is something hypnotic about waterfalls, beckoning exploration and admiration, and who are we to go against the grain? The Hedge Creek Falls Trail is a wonderful adventure to the waterfalls and down to an observation deck overlooking the Sacramento River and Mount Shasta towering above. Offering mountain and river views, a waterfall and cave, and an enchanting walk through a forested ravine, there isn’t much more you could demand from a hike. Novice hikers, spontaneous explorers, and children should all be able to easily manage this adventure. If you head out in the summer months, be sure to wear a swimsuit and cool off in the idyllic swimming hole on the river. If you can’t already tell, we love this trail, and we know you will too.

Once your shoes are laced, and your camera is charged, you are all set to begin your adventure. Departing from the trailhead off Dunsmuir Avenue, the Hedge Creek Falls Trail will guide you north briefly before redirecting east. This section of your hike will likely be polluted with the sounds of vehicle traffic, but the further into the wilderness you go, the noise will fade. Not long after your departure will you reach the waterfall. Plunging from Hedge Creek over the overhang, you will likely get cooled off by the mist of the crashing cascades when exploring behind the veil. Mind your footing on the slippery rocks here, and marvel in the intricacy of the basaltic rock wall.

When you are through exploring the cave, continue along the Hedge Creek Falls Trail, now tracking west, along the tributary. Be aware of poison ivy as you venture through the ravine. Eventually, the path will open to the Sacramento River. Admire the scene of the running river from the observation deck and those enjoying the inviting waters. Don’t forget to look north, where commanding views of Mount Shasta dominate the sky. If time and weather permit, hop into the refreshing waters of the river to cool off. When you are ready, begin your return—retracing your footing along the path, past the falls, and back to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

Hedge Creek Falls

Hedge Creek Falls is a small but beautiful 11 m waterfall off Interstate 5 near Dunsmuir, California. A tributary of the Sacramento River, the cascades are fed Hedge Creek, which comes from the massive aquifer resultant of several volcanic occurrences from Mount Shasta. Cascading over a basaltic rock overhang, visitors can explore the 4 m cave behind the veil. Did you know that the waterfall was set to be destroyed during the construction of the I-5? Locals pushed against the motion, ultimately winning! Since the waterfall has been referred to as the “Million Dollar Falls”, the detour around the geological site was expensive!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Hedge Creek Falls Trail?

The Hedge Creek Falls Trail is a 1.0 km out-and-back hike near Dunsmuir, California.

Can you swim in Hedge Creek Falls?

While there is no swimming hole beneath the falls, there is a swimming hole on the Sacramento River.

Insider Hints for Hedge Creek Falls Trail

  • Head out in the early morning for a more secluded experience
  • In the winter months wear microspikes to safely navigate the snow-capped and slippery terrain
  • Don’t wear your new shoes if you plan on exploring the cave behind the falls
  • Charge your camera, the scenes along this route are picture-perfect
  • In the summer, pack a swimsuit and cool off in the pool on the Sacramento River

Getting to the Hedge Creek Falls Trail Trailhead

Access the Hedge Creek Falls Trail via I-5 Exit 732 off Dunsmuir Avenue.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Hedge Creek Falls Trail Elevation Graph

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