Tucked away in a canyon next to the Sacramento River and I-5 is the small but picturesque Hedge Creek Falls. What Hedge Creek Falls lacks in height or power, it makes up in prettiness and accessibility.
The thirty-foot fall is reached via a short and lovely hike close to the freeway. Park your car next to the chain linked fence designated for Hedge Creek Falls and cross the street. The trail quickly and steeply reaches Hedge Creek and the waterfall.
The waterfall pours over a notch in a wall of basalt columns. Visitors can walk behind the waterfall into a cave. Sometimes docents provide nighttime nature walks into the cave to see the bats.
Follow the trail up the other side of the creek to a lookout point above the Sacramento River. You will get an excellent view of Mt. Shasta from this point.
The basalt column wall is popular with rock climbers, and the trail is mostly hiked by locals. When we visited, we were the only person there for a good twenty minutes, allowing me to get these photos uninterrupted by other people.
The trail is great for children, and as we were leaving we ran into several families with small children making the hike down.
Fall is the perfect time to visit Hedge Creek Falls and northern California. The weather is cool and crisp, there's still water flowing, and the mix of green, yellow, and red foliage make for a beautiful background to the falls.