Squaw Valley Creek is a beautiful stream, lined with deep, sun-dappled pools, boisterous waterfalls, and long rapids. Umbrella plant or Indian Rhubarbgrows thickly along the rocky shores shading the water beneath and dark formations of basalt hem the stream and provide spectacular bluffs and obstacles to the water¿s flow. It flows through a mature mixed conifer forest that includes Douglas fir, Pacific yew, pine and cedar. Black oak, vine maple, and dogwood form the understory and provide brilliant color on brisk autumn days. The ground is moss covered and damp. Wild ginger, iris, wild rose, bleeding hearts and sky rockets grow profusely. You should be alert to poison oak, it grows everywhere along the trail. The Squaw Valley Creek Trail is an easy hiking trail with lots of level ground and gentle climbs. It is five miles long, the last mile of which is still under construction. The creek only rarely slips from view, and occasionally the trail dips to creek level providing easy access for swimming, picnicking, and fishing for native trout. There are few locations that are suitable for camping along the trail but a good place for a backpacking camp is at the south end. Shortly after beginning your hike down the trail you will come to another trail that joins Squaw Valley Creek from the east via a footbridge. This is the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail winding its way from the Lower McCloud River to Castle Crags. It and the Squaw Valley Creek Trail run concurrently for a short distance until the PCT forks off and heads uphill. The junction is marked. As you hike the trail, watch for the tracks of black tailed deer, black bear and other animals. If you are quiet you might be lucky to observe one or more of these animals in the wild. Listen for the chatter of stellers jays, the kakking call of the northern goshawk. Watch for American dippers or ouzels in the stream. In the evening you could hear the hoot of the great horned owl.
One-Way Notice: This hike is listed as One-Way. When you hike several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
Paved - Car Okay
To hike From Mt. Shasta City, take Interstate 5 south to the junction with Highway 89. From Redding, take Interstate 5 north to the junction with Highway 89. Turn onto Highway 89 and head east to the town of McCloud, a distance of about 13 miles. Turn right at the McCloud central business district, following the signs for Squaw Valley Creek Road and the McCloud Reservoir. Continue south on this road for 6.1 miles. Just past a camping and RV park named "Friday's Retreat" turn right onto Squaw Valley Creek Road. This is a dirt road with a sign saying "Rough Road", but it is easily passable with a highway vehicle. Continue on this road for 3.1 miles. At this point, you will cross over a concrete bridge. The parking lot and trailhead are on the left immediately after you cross the bridge. The trail crosses Cabin Creek a short distance after you leave the trailhead and follows the west side of Squaw Valley Creek.