Home Adventures Hiking Mossbrae Falls

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

by Paulina Dao

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

Let me tell ya something about me. I don’t like breaking the rules… much. There’s something about it that just gives me the heebie jeebies, like I’m going to get caught and be punished to the full extent of the law and I’ll rot in jail forever or something. I know, I know, it’s a bit extreme. That’s how I felt about hiking Mossbrae Falls.

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

The Mossbrae Falls trail closed in 2012 when a hiker was hit by a train along the tracks. Folks wanting to visit must hike through not one, but two places to reach this magical and mystical waterfall. Though in the last few years, both the Union Pacific and Shasta Retreat Center have become much more lenient.

I waffled back and forth over this trespassing dilemma for a bit but then decided to make the trek. Folks were posting trip reports and sharing photos and coming out seemingly unscathed. I figured I would be ok too.

This is my warning to you. To get to Mossbrae Falls, you’re trespassing. Do so at your own risk.

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

Phew, now that that’s off my chest, let’s get to the good stuff. This place is absolute magic. It is worth the boring slog down the railroad and the heart pounding fear of getting caught.

On our way back we did encounter some construction-y things (I don’t know what they were, but there was a truck driving on the tracks and it was pretty cool) going for a stroll on the tracks. We hopped off the rocky area down the hillside, but the folks paid us no mind.

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

Directions to Mossbrae Falls

  1. Park somewhere along Dunsmuir Ave near the intersection of Scarlet Way.
  2.  Walk down the hill on Scarlet Way. It says no access, you can ignore this. (Remember, you’re trespassing.)
  3. When Scarlet Way meets Cave Ave, take a slight right.
  4. Follow Cave Ave until it across the Sacramento River.
  5. Turn right onto the railroad tracks.
  6.  Walk along the railroad tracks. Stay on the side closest to the river. That’s where you’ll have the most space to get out of the way if some sort of locomotive comes hurtling your way.
  7. If you pay close enough attention, you’ll start catch glimpses Mossbrae Falls from the railroad tracks.
  8. Once you see a giant bridge trestle thing, you are almost there! Don’t go on this, you’ll have gone too far.
  9. The “path” widens significantly. Stay close to the trees and you will see a use trail heading down to the water and Mossbrae Falls!

Hiking Mossbrae Falls

Notes about Mossbrae Falls

  •  Dunsmuir City Council approved a proposal to approach Union Pacific to lease land to build a trail from Hedge Creek Falls to Mossbrae Falls.
  • Wear some solid shoes because the ground is rocky and kind of annoying

This post was created in partnership with Discover Siskiyou. Thank you for hosting us over the long weekend.

Hiking Mossbrae Falls in Mount Shasta, California

Last updated on September 13, 2018.

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Brandice June 1, 2019 - 3:07 pm

Thank you for this info.

Kathy S March 30, 2021 - 8:18 am

Your directions were spot on, and really helped us. The boulder has now been painted with a big black square, and Mossbrae Falls is written with red spray paint. I was so worried I wouldn’t see it because I was looking down the whole time as we were walking on the train tracks, but there was no way to miss the huge bridge. You just make a right a little before the bridge. I thought it was the most beautiful of all the waterfalls in the area, and certainly not as crowded as Burney Falls.


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