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McCloud River - California

Fishing the McCloud River Preserve

The McCloud River Preserve, open only from sunrise to sunset, offers three miles of hiking trails and a self-guided nature walk. Keep in mind that the preserve is snowbound during the winter months (late November through early April). The preserve allows 10 anglers to fish using catch and release techniques at any one time. Five of these fishing places may be reserved a least a few weeks in advance through the Conservancy's San Francisco office: 201 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; phone (415) 777-0487. The remaining five fishing spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are held until 10 a.m. of the date reserved. Anglers may use spinning or fly equipment, but the creel limit is zero and fishing is catch and release only. Single, barbless hooks are required by state law.

McCloud River - Ah-Di-Na Campground to Nature Conservancy

Located near the top of California, north of the Sierra Nevada and at the southern end of the Cascade Range, the McCloud snakes its way down a scenic canyon beneath the rugged slopes of 14,000-foot Mount Shasta. The cool waters of the river roil with life.

Click map to enlarge

In this section of the McCloud, Rainbow trout share the waters with the exotic (non-native) brown trout, first introduced by sportsmen in the mid-1930s. The McCloud was formerly the southernmost refuge for the bull trout or "Dolly Varden," which is, like the Shasta rainbow, a member of the salmon family. Although once a common sight, the bull trout has not been seen in the McCloud since 1975 and has been declared locally extinct. Riffle sculpin, another McCloud native species, abound in the cobble-lined portions of the river.

Beneath dense mixed conifer and oak forests, wildlife is active in the rugged canyons. Mountain lions prowl the forest along with ringtails, and gray foxes. On the canyon's limestone outcrops are found two species, the Shasta salamander and a plant named the Shasta eupatory, that occur nowhere else on earth. Along the river, otters searching for a meal glide through large pools lined with white alder, Indian rhubarb, and horsetail. Black bears lope along trails beside the river, and bald eagles and osprey soar overhead.

McCloud River CA Fowler's Campground

Fowlers Campground is located on the Upper McCloud River five miles east of McCloud, California. The campground is nestled in a mixed conifer and oak woodland. The campground offers paved parking spurs, running water and vault restrooms. Natural Features:

Fowlers Campground lays in the valley floor (3,300 feet in elevation) on the eastside of majestic Mt. Shasta (14,179 foot summit). This area is at the southern tip of the Cascade Mountain Range. The area hosts abundant botanical and wildlife species. This campground is mostly known for the nearby McCloud River waterfalls. The McCloud Falls can be accessed via the McCloud River Trail or by road. The waterfalls vary in height from 15 to 50 feet.

A river-side trail from the campground provides access to the falls. It is approximately three miles round trip to see all three. Swimming and fishing are other popular activities. This section of river has no special restrictions for fishing. The McCloud River Loop, a paved road approximately 10 miles in length provides access to the Middle Falls and Upper Falls parking lots and overlooks if you do not wish to hike the trail.

The campground has 35 regular campsites and two double campsites with tables, fire-rings, vault toilets and piped drinking water. Some sites are equipped with bear resistant food storage lockers. Sites are suitable for tents and mid-sized RVs or trailers. Large RVs are not recommended. Campground is typically staffed with a resident host.

Nearby Attractions:

The Lower, Middle and Upper McCloud water falls, Lakin Dam Fishing Area, Cattle Camp Swimming Hole, McCloud Reservoir, Medicine Lake Highlands and the towns of McCloud (10 mins.) and Mt. Shasta (20 mins.) are nearby.


Details of Fowlers Campground:

McCloud Falls

The McCloud River is one of Northern California’s most scenic and famous waterways. It begins its journey in the vast, wooded flat lands spreading out beneath the southern foot of Mount Shasta. Although the river’s headwaters are springs at the eastern end of the McCloud Flats, water flowing off of Mount Shasta in the form of Ash Creek and Mud Creek contribute significantly to the river’s volume. More importantly, the river is swollen by subterranean waters coming from the heart of the great volcano. The McCloud has been shaped by volcanism in more tangible ways besides its volume as well. The canyons carved by the river expose the fiery past the region has experienced. One stretch of the McCloud River in particular offers especially dramatic testimony Mount Shasta’s activity. A few miles above the Lake McCloud reservoir, the river passes through a deep canyon that contains cooled lava flows, columnar basalt and cliffs composed of tufa. Through all of this, the McCloud has carved an extremely scenic channel. More Details


From the main intersection in the town of McCloud, drive east on Highway 89 for 5.5 miles. Turn right on the signed road for the McCloud River Loop. Continue for 0.7 miles. Stay right at the first intersection (turning left leads to Middle and Upper Falls). Pass the Fowlers Camp campground and turn left into the signed parking lot for the Lower Falls picnic area.