Mossbrae Falls Hike — Mt. Shasta, CA

Mossbrae Falls has to be one of the crown jewels in the Shasta Cascade area. This waterfall is made up of two clusters of falls around a bend in the river, creating a magical curtain of water in front of you. Although the hike there is slightly obscure, the short hike to the falls is definitely worth the trek!

This was one of my recommended stops in my article on planning a weekend trip to the Shasta area.


Hike Info

Miles: 2 roundtrip
Elevation Change: ~40ft.
Trail Type: Out and back
Trailhead: Google Maps
Cost: Free


The Hike

FYI: Hiking to these falls is trespassing and can lead to fines. Be careful where you park and especially when near the train tracks - trains are actively running on these tracks. Constantly check your surroundings and be ready for a train at any time.

Parking can be a little tricky in the area. We found the best parking on the west side of Dunsmuir Ave just south of Scarlet Ave - be sure not to park in Shasta Retreat. We walked down Scarlet Way and turned right when we saw Cave Avenue on the left. After a couple minutes, we reached the bridge that crosses the river and leads to the train tracks. We turned right at the tracks and started heading north.

The entire time you are walking on loose rock, and there is no shade if you hike in the middle of the day. The right side of the tracks had a lot more room to walk, and we constantly checked for trains coming in both directions.

We walked for about 25 minutes until we passed the green 3/4 mile marker sign. Once we saw the bridge, we found the trail on the right heading downhill straight to the falls.

 Turning off the tracks before the bridge

Turning off the tracks before the bridge

The falls were so much more impressive in person. Fed by natural springs, the water cascaded over an entire wall, and the mist from all of the water left several rainbows hanging in the air.

 Double rainbow!

Double rainbow!

 The boys going for a swim in the numbingly cold water

The boys going for a swim in the numbingly cold water

 Looking down the creek wishing for a floaty

Looking down the creek wishing for a floaty

 Following the tracks back

Following the tracks back

While we were down at the falls, we did hear a loud and long train rumble by, and we were glad to not be near the tracks at the time. The hike back to the car felt a lot faster after the refreshing swim.


Other useful sites:
The Outbound
World of Waterfalls
Hike Mt. Shasta