Monday, June 5, 2017

Squaw Valley Creek Trail

Day three, we hiked an 8 mile loop that starts by crossing over a small footbridge by the Cabin Creek Trailhead to the PCT footbridge that crosses Squaw Valley Creek.

The directions for the hike states not to cross the PCT footbridge. After exploring the bridge and pretty gorge, we head up to where the PCT splits to the right.

We hike the loop counterclockwise. After hiking along the PCT for about a mile, we arrive at the junction of trails called the "Octopus".  We head down the inviting fire road listening to numerous birds singing to each other.  We were happy to be walking under the canopy of fir, pine, cedar, black oak, and dogwood trees since it was very hot, 90s.

We hear the Bear Trap Creek to the right, which is located way below the fire road at the start of our descent. As we descend, we notice many springs and seasonal creeks feeding into Bear Trap Creek. Once the road levels out, we cross a vehicle bridge. In the pool by the bridge are numerous Umbrella plants or Indian Rhubarb.

This region of Northern California is so much greener and healthier looking than Central California.  We stop to put on the extensions of our pant legs since the next section of the loop will take us through sections where poison oak grows profusely along sections of the trail. Mainly the first mile from the junction of the fire road and the Squaw Valley Creek Trail, aka Cabin Creek Trail, has the densely patches of poison oak. We were happy we were hiking this in the spring and not late summer when the poison oak would be covering the trail.

The Squaw Valley Trail follows the Squaw Valley Creek until it connects to the PCT. As we got closer to the PCT, about half way into the hike along the Squaw Valley Creek, the trail improves. We stop at an opening along the trail to look at a falls, rest, and eat a snack.

So many flowering plants line the rocky gorge in this area. After a relaxing rest, we continue the gentle climb back to the trailhead. We only came across three folks that walked from the trailhead to the PCT bridge and back. Later that evening, we saw them at Fowlers Camp. They had explored numerous places by car that day.

Our drive back to McCloud on Squaw Valley Creek Road provided us with such a rewarding surprise, majestic Mt. Shasta.

I was so pleased to have found this hike:

There are so many more beautiful places in this region of Mt. Shasta that my husband and I are looking forward to exploring.

Part 3 of Mt.Shasta/ McCloud

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fowlers Camp!

Sunday morning, we drive to Fowlers Camp to see if there are any open first-come-first-serve sites. We find that most of the camp is empty and very quiet. Site 32, situated away from the trail that runs next to the river, we call home for two nights.

After setting up our site and eating lunch, we head off for a hike on the McCloud River Falls Trail. The trail from Fowlers Campground to Middle Falls is heavily used by many folks wanting to see the Middle Falls. Folks will come in for the day to hike from the lower falls to the middle falls region of the trail.

We continue our climb up the trail to the viewing area for Middle Falls.

I had read that some young, fearless kayaker went over this falls this past April. He survived!

The McCloud River meanders for miles until it flows into Lake Shasta. We continue our hike to the Upper Falls, which isn't as impressive as the Middle Falls.

From the Upper Falls, we find the marker for the trail and hike to Lakin Dam Picnic Area. The dam is much small than I excepted.

The trail snakes close to the river with numerous places of volcanic rocks to scramble over-- and reminding us that Mt. Shasta is close by.

We rest in the peaceful clearing in the picnic area before heading back to Fowlers Camp.

Part 2 of Mt. Shasta / McCloud.