The McCloud area is open year-round for outdoor recreation, local events, and breathtaking scenery. With so much to see and do, it is the perfect destination for a quick day trip or an extended family vacation.
The McCloud River Trail passes three beautiful waterfalls as it winds through a canyon of basalt lava rock. This smooth, well maintained trail offers summer swimming, fall foliage, and an early spring thaw, making it fun and accessible year-round. The section between the Lower Falls and Fowlers Campground is paved for wheelchairs (ADA compliant). All three overlooks have ADA features.
Mount Shasta, peak (14,162 feet [4,317 metres]) of the Cascade Range in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, northern California, U.S. An impressive double-peaked dormant volcano, it dominates the landscape (a vast panorama of tumbled mountains and valleys) for a hundred miles and is a main feature of Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area.
Grab picnic supplies in downtown McCloud and head east on beautiful Highway 89, also known as the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Along your journey, you will find opportunities for adventure, exploration, communion with nature, and an appreciation for history of the region.
MCCLOUD RIVER FALLS AREA:
About 5 miles east of the town of McCloud, turn right at the Fowler’s Campground sign. The road winds along the river, passing various recreation sites, and returns to Highway 89. Along the loop, there are three stunning waterfalls – Lower, Middle, and Upper – that are all accessible by vehicle. Lower Falls is the perfect spot to pull out your picnic basket.
VIEWING WILDLIFE & PLANTS:
The forests, streams, and meadows surrounding the little town of McCloud offer excellent nature viewing and photography in a gorgeous mountain setting. Ah-Di-Na Campground and Squaw Valley Creek Trail are two good spots to check out.
According to VisitCalifornia.com, Siskiyou County is the #1 spot in the state for stargazing. With no glare of city lights, the night sky in McCloud offers endless views of the constellations.
HISTORIC SITES: The town of McCloud, a former company owned mill town is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Stop by the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum in downtown McCloud to learn about the unique history of the area.
McCloud hosts several events and festivals each year. Among the annual events are the Mushroom Festival, Flea Market, Lumberjack Fiesta, Apple Harvest Festival, pub crawls, and Victorian Christmas.
DISCOVER MORE OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA:
For more ideas of things to see and do in the surrounding areas, visit these links - Shasta Trinity National Forest, Discover Siskiyou, Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce, Weed Chamber of Commerce, Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce, and North Siskiyou Chamber of Commerce.
There are miles and miles of hiking trails in and around McCloud, and for every level of hiker. Some of the best-known spots are the McCloud River Falls Trail, Squaw Valley Creek Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. For the best maps and descriptions, see the Mt. Shasta Trail Association or Hikemtshasta.com.
BOATING, PADDLE BOARDING, CANOEING, & KAYAKING:
The McCloud Reservoir (Lake McCloud) is very popular, especially in summer months. Its pine covered shoreline, calm waters, and distinct emerald color (due to sand and volcanic ash) make it a perfect spot to spend the day. The Boat Ramp at Lake McCloud offers public access to the lake, and facilities include parking for vehicles with trailers, picnic tables, and a vault toilet. Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort in Mt. Shasta offers rentals for fishing boats, patio boats, paddleboards, and kayaks. The view of the mountain from Lake Siskiyou is stunning.
Loved by locals and visitors alike, McCloud Falls is home to some of the region’s most notorious swimming holes. You’ll find the McCloud River Loop just six miles east of the town of McCloud. Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort has a day use beach with a picnic area and a fun “Splash Zone.”
Grab your clubs and hit the links while enjoying breathtaking views of Mt. Shasta. The casual, 9-hole, McCloud Golf Club opened for play in 1923, making it one of the longest-lasting golf courses in the state. Mt. Shasta Resort features a natural alpine terrain on a par 70, 18-hole course. Golfers can treat themselves with food or beverages at either course.
McCloud is justifiably famous for trout fishing. Depending on your fishing preference, you can wade the waters of the Upper McCloud River, throw your line in the deeper Lake McCloud, or fly fish on the Lower McCloud River. Wherever you are, you will hard-pressed to find a more pristine place to cast a line.
MOUNTAIN BIKING & BICYCLING:
The Great Shasta Rail Trail is a scenic, multi-use 80-mile trail linking the mountain towns of McCloud and Burney. The red cinder trail has replaced the railroad tracks that carried McCloud Railroad cars for over a century. At the Mt. Shasta Ski Park (or Mt. Shasta Bike Park in the summer), you can hop on a chair lift, and descend 1100’ on a trail to the base. With loose soil, fast berms, and smooth rollers, their trails are rated for intermediate to advanced riders.
Experience white water rafting for all levels on one of several area rivers: Klamath, Cal-Salmon, Scott, and Upper Sacramento. River Dancers in Mt. Shasta can hook you up with everything you need for the water excursion of a lifetime!
The Brewer Creek Trailhead on the McCloud side of Mt. Shasta is a fairly easy hike and offers staggering views of the rarely seen east side of the mountain, two of its largest glaciers, and a beautiful alpine creek. A crosscountry excursion from the end of the trial leads to majestic Ash Creek Falls, reportedly John Muir’s favorite spot on Mt. Shasta. Rock climbers can find details about the Brewer Creek Trail and Clear Creek Trail at Hikemtshasta.com.
CLIMBING MT. SHASTA:
There are several routes to climb Mt. Shasta, with the Clear Creek route (McCloud side) being the easiest route to the top. The climb starts at the Clear Creek Trailhead beneath old growth red fir. The hike gains elevation up the Mud Creek Canyon. As you climb, you'll enjoy views of the Konwakiton and Wintun Glaciers and a huge expanse of California. Climbing Mt. Shasta may not test your technical skills, but it will test your stamina.
Many sportsmen come to the area to hunt deer, elk, and waterfowl. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife website provides information on zones, licensing, and regulations.
Hunt for and find hidden objects by means of GPS coordinates on geocaching apps.
Caving around McCloud includes lava tubes, spectacular ice caves, and spatter cones. Most of these features are easily visited. McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange also works with local permitted guides to plan a trip geared to your adventure level. There are countless other points of interest within the Medicine Lake Highlands Volcanic Area.
The Great Shasta Rail Trail offers 80 miles of enchanting trails through the Shasta Trinity National Forest. The multi-use trail is closed to motorized vehicles. There are also local companies where you can book horseback tours and guided trail rides.
WATERSKIING AND JETSKIING:
Lake McCloud, downstream of the “big island” is the perfect place for your fast water sports. There is a public boat launch, parking for vehicles with trailers, picnic tables, and a vault toilet.
SKIING & SNOWBOARDING:
The Mt. Shasta Ski Park turn off is just 5 miles from McCloud, making our town the closest to the action on the mountain. The Park boasts all the amenities you’d expect to find in a modern ski facility, with the added pluses of affordable lift fees, short lines, and runs for all skill levels. Most McCloud accommodations offer money saving ski packages. Click here to view LIVE Cam from Mt. Shasta Ski Park!
NORDIC AND TELEMARK SKIING:
The Mt. Shasta Nordic Center offers 23.5 km of trails for cross-country skiing for all ages and abilities. You can also rent skis, take lessons, and warm yourself in the cozy hut at the trailhead.
Perhaps Snowshoeing through a mystical white landscape is your idea of winter fun. The breathtaking scenery around majestic Mt. Shasta brings people back every year to experience the wonder of our unique area! Snowshoes may be rented from McCloud Outdoors & Gear Exchange.
Sledding opportunities abound around McCloud for good old-fashioned family fun. Most famously is historic Snowman’s Hill, which sits on Highway 89 directly across from the Ski Park turnoff. Imagine the fun you’ll have on a 300’ long sled run! Parking is easy and there are vault toilets.
About three miles east of McCloud, The Pilgrim Creek Snowmobile Park has miles of groomed trails, ready for motorized fun. There is a ramp for loading/loading your snow machine, a warming hut with a woodstove, and vault toilets. You can camp here in the summer.