Redding, CA 96002
Squaw Valley Creek is a beautiful stream, lined with deep, sun-dappled pools, boisterous waterfalls, and long rapids. Umbrella plant of Indian Rhubarb grows thickly along the rocky shores shading the water beneath ad 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 day. The ground is moss covered and damp. Wild ginger, iris, wild rose, bleeding hearts and skyrockets grow profusely. You should be alert to poison oak...it grows everywhere along the trail.
The Squaw Valley Creek trail meanders five miles along Squaw Valley Creek and ends at a private locked road that heads down to the McCloud River. It is a there and back trail, with lots of level ground and gentle climbs. It periodically dips to creek level where one can picnic, fish for native trout and swim. 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 (PCT) 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 up-hill. 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 stellar's 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. The trail was conceived by Tom Hesseldenz and Mt. Shasta Trail Association.