Just North of Redding, California in Shasta County is Mossbrae Falls – a stunning waterfall that can only be accessed by train tracks. It’s hidden well, you have to know exactly where you are going to find Mossbrae Falls. Most visitors don’t know about them. This hike is so unique, it made me feel like I was a kid again on a make-believe adventure.
Under the sign, across the bridge, down the train tracks a mile. Through the woods to the waterfall…
Justina and I decided on Tuesday that it was time for another adventure. At 6:30am on that Saturday morning, we loaded up her car and started driving North to Shasta County. About 4 hours later, we arrived outside of Dunsmuir, a small town at the base of Mount Shasta and along the Sacramento River. We were on a mission to find Mossbrae Falls.
We found them. And the journey is one of my favorites from this year.
We went up in November, so the trees were orange and red. The air was crisp but not yet cold. There was some sunshine, the cool winter sunshine that only comes this time of year. We met a few other hikers on the train tracks to Mossbrae Falls, but for the most part, it was just us two. Arriving at the falls was what I can only describe as a magical experience You can hear them for about a quarter of a mile away – rushing water hitting rocks. As you step off the train tracks and start walking through the trees, we caught a couple of glimpses of the waterfall. We started walking faster with excitement. When we finally broke free of the trees and into the base of Mossbrae Falls I feel like I stepped into a Narnia movie. The waterfall is huge, it almost looks like 4 waterfalls smooshed together. There are green vines hanging over the small river that trails away into the mountains. You can’t hear traffic. You may hear a train passing by on the tracks, but it somehow adds more mystery and magic to the whole experience. We had the place to ourselves for about 20 minutes before another small group arrived.
Mossbrae Falls is one of those hidden gems that I hope always stays magical. If you are planning a trip to Redding, Lassen Volcanic National Park or Mount Shasta, make sure to set aside a morning to hike to these falls. You won’t regret it.
How To Get To Mossbrae Falls
- Park outside the Shasta Retreat along Dunsmuir Ave.
- Walk towards to arching sign that reads SHASTA. It heads downhill.
- At the bottom of the hill, cross the bridge.
- At the train tracks, turn right and walk about a mile along the tracks. It’s an active track, so please be careful and watch for trains.
- The falls are located to the right of the second bridge. Don’t cross it – instead, head into the trees. You’ll hear the falls before you see them.
I recommend wearing sturdy hiking boots (love these from Amazon!) and bring a backpack with water.
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