Virtual Guidebook to Mount Shasta and Klamath-Trinity Mountains
Upper Sacramento River
Siskiyou County California


The Sacramento River's canyon above Dunsmuir makes for an interesting hike - there is no trail, you just walk alongside, or on, the railroad tracks (posted as trespassing, and sometimes enforced). It is quite an experience when a train comes along, pulling a hundred carloads of heavy freight up the steep grade. There are two reasons to make the hike - an amazing waterfall, plus catch and release trout fishing in the river.

Mossbrae Falls is wider than it is tall and originates with thousands of springs in the face of the canyon wall. The cliff is covered with ferns and mosses. The sound of the falls is so overhwleming you might not even hear a train passing 50 yards behind you, or be aware that the interstate highway is just above the top of the falls.

There was a toxic spill just above the falls at the Cantara Loop in 1991 - 19,000 gallons of herbicide from a derailed railroad tank car killed everything in the river all the way down to Lake Shasta. But the river has recovered and wild trout have colonized in from side streams - it may even be healthier and better fishing than before.



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Mossbrae Falls in the Sacramento River Canyon

(May 6, 2001)


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The Geography Field Class 2006 at Mossbrae Falls

(September 24, 2006)


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The field class watches a train go by near Mossbrae Falls

(September 24, 2006)


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A train in the Sacramento Canyon above Dunsmuir

(May 6, 2001)


Next Locality: Dunsmuir