Only 6 miles outside of the town of McCloud, the McCloud River Three Falls Trail is a great hike through a mountainous, high desert forest with a wonderful variety of flora, not to mention the three distinctive waterfalls.
The Wintu Native Americans called the Lower Falls Nurum-wit-ti-dekki, which roughly translates to "falls where the salmon turn back." The McCloud River was such a popular place for fishing that in 1874 a traveler apparently reported “a party of six Indians on McCloud’s Fork, speared over 500 salmon in one night!”
Today however, in mid-summer the 12-foot tall Lower Falls and it’s downstream pool is more popular with swimmers. Rock formations above the pool make for a modest but fun cliff jumping spot. Head up the trail beyond the crowds at the Lower Falls to discover the far more impressive and scenic Middle and Upper Falls. While on the trail enjoy the rich diversity of flora including redwoods, Douglas fir, western hemlock, Sitka alder, Pacific dogwood, orange honeysuckle, bracken fern, and thimbleberry. In early summer other plants bloom, including red columbine, little yellow pretty face, and umbrella plant along the river’s banks.