We were having a blast bouldering at McCloud Falls when we witnessed what could have been a tragic death. Seems jumping off Middle McCloud Falls is a popular thing to do, judging by the number of videos you’ll find at #mccloudfalls on Instagram.
A girl and two guys were up at the top left of the Falls. The first guy jumped off successfully. The girl, however, kept hesitating.
Finally, she jumped off but immediately hesitated again, which caused her to start sliding down the dirt and rock face. It was horrifying, as it looked like she was going to continue sliding down the rocks! Fortunately, she did clear the rocks, but she landed on her side and her body slapped the water extremely hard. Thankfully, she lived to limp to the shore.
Her hesitation made the jump so much worse. With risks, sometimes it’s good to jump in and sometimes it’s important to proceed cautiously and test the waters. With cliff diving, do not hesitate.
We came across McCloud Falls by accident on a list of “10 Things to Do” in Shasta. We all wanted to explore and boulder around the Falls and I was hoping to get some moss photos. We parked in the parking lot above the Falls, changed into swimsuits and hiked down some switch backs to the Falls.
It looks like a gorgeous waterfall and swimming hole like you’d find in Hawaii, but the water is frigid. This was early July and of the two dozen people around, only one or two were swimming.
I do like other kinds of challenges, though. There was a long tree trunk spanning the river and I walked across while willing myself to put one foot in front of the other and pay attention. On the right side, there are tons of boulders big and small, and I had a great time bouldering myself to the rocks right up close the Falls.
Using the rocks and boulders you can get yourself face-to-face with the waterfall. For some people, this would be a spiritual experience with the mist enveloping you and the rushing water so close you can touch it. For me, my adrenaline was surging from the bouldering and I was worried I’d slip and fall. So, not as spiritual or calming as I thought.
Also, I left my camera over on the sand beach as I didn’t want to break it on the rocks or drop it into the water. So I took no close up photos of the moss.
Afterward, we learned there is a 4-mile hike called McCloud River Falls Trail starting in the picnic area at the lower falls and connecting the three Falls…lower, middle and upper McCloud Falls. The trail sounds great and I hope to do it another time.
Karen is a nature photographer who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written a book called Moss and Lichen. She has a gift and jewelry shop especially for nature lovers you’ll find at shop.iheartmoss.com.
Please check the shop if you are looking for a birthday, graduation, wedding or other kinds of gifts. Many Thanks, Karen