Located a mile upstream from Lower Falls, Middle Falls is the second in a trio of waterfalls referred to as McCloud Falls, on this tranquil stretch of the Upper McCloud River running to the southeast of Mount Shasta. Larger than both Lower and Upper Falls in drop and breadth, Middle Falls is an incredibly scenic waterfall with a curtain-like appearance that stretches across the rocky edge and the 40-foot drop over which it rolls.
While less popular than Lower Falls, perhaps because it’s slightly less accessible, Middle Falls also holds an inviting pool and swimming hole at the base of the fall. The pool is accessed by walking a quarter-mile path from the parking area and overlook down to the river. A bit of scrambling over basalt boulders and you're ready for a dip. The spring-fed water of the McCloud River is certainly chilly, but it is inviting and refreshing on hot summer days.
Middle Falls may also be accessed by parking at the Lower Falls Trailhead and venturing out on the McCloud River Three Falls Hike. Camping at Fowler’s Campground is also nearby. Please make sure to practice Leave No Trace principles and lend a helping hand by cleaning up any trash you see when visiting the McCloud River area.
Swimming holes and cliff jumping can be extremely dangerous and unpredictable outdoor activities that pose significant risks regarding personal safety. Changing water levels, unseen rocks, and river bottoms that have shifted with currents and seasonal weather can turn a well-known jumping area into a serious hazard. Prior to engaging in these activities, extensively scout the current conditions, and understand the risks involved with serious injury and the logistical challenges of evacuation from the water so you can make safe decisions.