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4.5
58 votes

Mossbrae Falls

Dunsmuir, California 96025 USA

  • Independent
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“one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Shasta Cascade area”

Mossbrae Falls is a waterfall flowing into the Sacramento River, in the Shasta Cascade area in Dunsmuir, California. The falls are located just south of the lower portion of Shasta Springs. Access the falls via a mile-long hiking trail on the Union Pacific Railroad. Mossbrae Falls is one of the most scenic waterfalls in California. Approximately 50 ft (15 m) in height and150 ft (46 m) wide, the falls are fed by springs, which course down the canyon wall, and into the Sacramento River, creating the effect of many waterfall streams falling into the river. The entire course of the falls is longer than 50 ft (15 m), however the upper cascades cannot be observed through flora which covers the mountainside. The bottom 50 ft (15 m) is a straight plunge into the river. The falls are mostly two major outfalls. Pictured here are both, with smaller drops between them. The trail to the falls follows beside the Union Pacific railroad tracks, and is narrow in some places. The waterfall is to the right, immediately before a nearby railroad trestle that crosses the river. NOTE: Though travelers and road trippers frequent this spot quite a bit, there were signs posted in 2011 regarding closures in this area, so pay attention to the warnings and possible trail closure signs.

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Reviewed by
Jake

  • Road Warrior
  • 13 Reviews
  • 30 Helpful
February 08, 2014

Meh don't listen to Kristy, people still go to it all the time. In fact I just did. If you're being guided this will take you to the wrong trail head, you want to go down dunsmuirAve towards the town, before you reach the town though you will see on your right a road that dips down really fast, the road is diagonal to DunsmuiAve so it might be hard to spot the first time, just above this road is an arch that says Shasta Retreat, this is the road that will lead you to the train tracks that get to mossbrae falls... Don't drive down this road and park or you'll get a ticket, just park outside Shasta Retreat somewhere, it's a small town it shouldn't be hard to find a place to park. Then walk down into shasta retreat and when you get to the train tracks make a right and go upstream.

Ignore the signs that say no trespassing, go a mile and a half up these traintracks and when you approach a bridge that the train crosses look to your right for a trail, it'll lead you right to Mossbrae falls, TRUST ME IT'S WORTH IT!, it's amazing.

12 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 268 Helpful
August 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

Areas around Dunsmuir, California are well know for their great natural beauty, therefore if your road takes you there it is worth staying for 4-5 days in order to explore the surrounding areas.

One of the best hidden gems of Dunsmuir are the Mossbrae Falls. Have you ever dreamed of exploring well hidden areas? Would you like to visit a place that only few did so and were capable of ? Then Mossbrae Falls are the perfect place for you to visit. You should ask the staff of the hotel you will be staying how to get there, since you will have to walk for about 2 miles next to railway tracks. I did this with 3 other people who were locals and i don't remember exactly the route to help you out, but don't hesitate to ask.

The Waterfalls are a great view to watch, which we admired it speechless for a couple of hours. We brought with us food and water and we had one of our best meals ever. It is amazing how clean the water is !!! So crystal clear that looks almost unreal. On our way back we didn't stop telling to each other how lucky and grateful we felt for visiting this place!!! One of my best experiences in California, definitely worth the adventure to get there!!!

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jpayuran

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
October 18, 2016

Me and my wife went here this october. You have to park in the residential area, walk 3-5 mins to shasta retreat, trespass religious group area (just be quiet when trespassing them then you will see a bridge then you will see the railroad track. The railroad track has a lot of gravel so it is difficult to walk. There is like a natural man made route because people goes on the side so the gravel tends to be leveled. Keep an eye and listen for the train! Walk about a mile then you will see a bridge, look at your right and you will see the beauty of Mossbrae falls!

Tip: If you're going here from another county spend at least 2 days and do a waterfall marathon. Here is the option day 1 hedge creek falls, mossbrae falls, 3 mc cloud falls. Sleep in a motel then burney falls!

Here is a video of our waterfall adventure.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcYezvmM0Bs

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
audreylynn.m.park

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
July 17, 2014

I just saw a picture on Facebook of this place, it said "before the drought". Do the falls still flow?

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
kristylee

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
January 23, 2014

You can't legally access these falls as you have to hike along railroad tracks to access them. If you park along the road you'll get a ticket. Disappointing :/

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Dee

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 22, 2020
Rated 5.0

Add this one to your list of must-do hikes! It's so magical and we got to see 3 passing trains during our time there.

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Reviewed by
AdamDexter

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 12, 2020
Rated 5.0

This place is special and amazing. Not the largest falls, not the grandest views, but the most unique I’ve seen, the most lush and magical. Plus the smell! Herbaceous and fresh. You can do a 2.9 mile out and back that has a bridge but If you don’t mind fording a river (1-2.5 feet at the time of writing) You can start at the parking lot for Hedge Creek falls, and then it’s barely a mile from the start. Walk down past the little creek (Hedge) falls, keep following the trail down to the river. Cross the river. Go right and follow the train tracks to the bridge. Take a right down the ledge before the rail bridge. Enjoy! I might post pictures later but you should just go!

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Reviewed by
JanieNicole

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 16, 2019
Rated 5.0

It was a little hard to find but instead of making the 20 minute walk down the tracks you can cut across the river from Hedge Creek falls and only have to walk on the track for about 5 minutes. It’s a gorgeous waterfall... definitely worth seeing. Just be warned the river water is cold and it is deeper than it looks.

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Reviewed by
tomhofmeister

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 15, 2018
Rated 2.0

We couldn’t make it to the falls. All of the directions led to the wrong places and then there were no trespassing signs everywhere. We asked the gas station attendant and he had no idea how to get to the falls either.

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Reviewed by
JoanneAthaide

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 05, 2016

Just visited the falls this weekend. They were really beautiful just as everyone said. The hard part for us was just finding the Shasta Retreat area to access it. For some reason google maps took us way ahead closer to the Hedge falls trail head. You need to get to the Scarlet road intersection on Dunsmuir Ave and you will see the board for Shasta retreat. We did not take our car inside Scarlet road as that is restricted but parked it just outside near the stop sign. There were a few other cars and we did not get any ticket. From there you need to walk inside and keep right at the fork till you reach the railroad tracks. Your ~0.8 mile walk to the falls will be over the tracks with the river on your right. Before the bridge there is a small trail going down to the falls and viola. The water is so fresh and cool. It is definitely worth it.

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Mossbrae Falls

Dunsmuir, California
96025 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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