The Best Northern California I-5 Rest Stop: Hedge Creek Falls
When you get off of I-5 at Siskiyou Ave in Dunsmuir, there’s a tiny sign announcing the presence of Hedge Creek Falls. This sign does not do it justice. This little waterfall is one of the most scenic leg stretchers on this stretch of highway.
The trailhead for Hedge Creek Falls is right off I-5 at the Siskiyou Ave exit. It’s a giant pullout across from a small picnic area. Picnic area is a generous title; it has one picnic table, a tiny gazebo, a statue and a small billboard with all the happenings in Dunsmuir. There is also sign that says Hedge Creek Falls in case you weren’t sure.
The trail is straight forward. There’s no way you can get lost. It switchbacks directly down to the waterfall for a loss of 72 feet. At the bottom, the falls majestically spill out from large blocks of columnar basalt. It’s almost like Iceland a slice of Iceland in Northern California.
Hedge Creek Falls is unlike many falls in California. You can hike behind the base. The basalt behind the falls collapsed, leaving ample room for hikers to walk behind and marvel. The trail continues further to an observation deck where Hedge Creek meets the Sacramento River. We were a bit short on time so we did not do that.
When you’re done, retrace your steps back up the two switchbacks. Climbing out results in 72 feet of elevation gain, super tough. It’s the perfect little hike to get the blood flowing back in your legs before hopping back in your car.
Despite its close proximity to I-5, most passersby pass on Hedge Creek Falls, making this a bit of a local not-secret. We saw a few people hiking out as we came in. But while we were there, we were lucky enough to have the waterfall all to ourselves.
How to get to Hedge Creek Falls
From I-5 heading north towards Mount Shasta, d take the Siskiyou Ave exit. Turn left, pass under the freeway and immediately turn right onto Mott Road.
From I-5 heading south from Mount Shasta, take the Siskiyou Ave exit. Turn right and right again.
The parking area is immediately on the right, across from a small picnic area and signs for Hedge Creek Falls.
This post was created in partnership with Discover Siskiyou. Thank you for hosting us over the long weekend.