Hike to Mossbrae Falls – the hidden gem

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Just North of Redding, California in Shasta County is Mossbrae Falls – a stunning waterfall on Sacramento river that can only be accessed by train tracks.  Yes you read that right; and you actually need to TRESPASS to see this Dunsmuir’s most spectacular waterfall! For first time visitors, it’s can be slightly challenging to figure out parking, the starting point, exact route plan etc. With this small blog, we intend to share some of these details and our own experience of visiting the Mossbrae falls.

Before you visit (DO WATCH the above video for our trail to falls):

  1. Please note that the Railroad Park Resort does not advocate trespassing on the railroad tracks to get to Mossbrae Falls. You are at your own, but there will be several others to accompany you in this misdemeanor 😀
  2. If you’re going here from another county spend at least 2 days and do a waterfall marathon – Hedge creek falls, Mossbrae falls, Mc cloud falls. Sleep in a motel then Burney falls!
  3. Get drinks and snacks, sit back and relax for at least an hour once you hit the falls.
  4. You’ll be on tracks, so make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots! 
  5. It’s sometimes also called the “Dunsmuir Falls” because they are in the city of Dunsmuir.
  6. You’ll be on tracks, so make sure to wear sturdy hiking boots! 

Where to Park:

Outside the Shasta Retreat along Dunsmuir Ave on the road. Should be plenty of street parking! If using google maps, set the address to: Dunsmuir Ave & Scarlet Way, Dunsmuir, CA 96025

Directions and few safety tips:

  1. After Parking you car, walk towards to arching sign that reads SHASTA. It heads downhill.
  2. You will walk down the hill of Scarlet Avenue which will eventually veer right and turn into Cave Avenue. Follow the road right until it turns left onto a small bridge across the Sacramento River, which will lead you to the railroad tracks.
  3. At the train tracks, turn right and walk about a mile along the tracks on the loose rocks. It’s an active track, so please be careful and watch for trains.
  4. Be sure to stay on the right side of the tracks which provides more than enough room to hike the “trail.” Some parts are a little tighter than others, so just always be aware if a train might be coming. 
  5. You’ll approach a bridge with a rock that reads “Mossbrae” – that’s where you look to the right and will find trails down to the falls. Make sure not to cross the bridge.

And you made it!

After two trespassing (through the Shasta Retreat and Union Pacific’s railroad) and a mile’s hike, enjoy one of the prettiest sights in the Shasta area. Mossbrae Falls is actually a series of springs that burst from the cliffs above the Sacramento River and then rain down into the water. It’s composed of two primary clusters of spring-fed waterfalls, which reach about 50 feet high and 150 feet wide. 

Just be warned the river water is cold and it is deeper than it looks.

You may choose to admire the magical falls from the distance or get a front row seat on the large boulders along the banks.

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