Length: 6.4 miles round trip
High Point: 3250 feet
Elevation Gain: 950 feet
When to Hike: year round; some winter snow; best in late spring at the peak of snow melt
Controlling Agency: Mount Shasta Ranger Station, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, 204 West Alma, Mount Shasta, CA 96067; (530) 926-4511; www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity
Special Features: Beautiful and secluded waterfall; views of Castle Crags and other nearby peaks; clear mountain streams
Directions to the Trailhead: Take the Castella exit off I-5 about 6 miles south of Dunsmuir. Drive west 3.2 miles on Castle Creek Road and then turn right into a large clearing.
Description and Comments: The trail begins on the west side of the parking area. It climbs steeply .6 mile to reach the Pacific Crest Trail. Travel a gently rising mile through a mixed forest of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and black oak to Popcorn Spring. Continue another .8 mile to a first encounter with Burstarse Creek. Hike past it on the PCT and go .3 mile to Ugly Creek. Continue another .1 mile to a point where the trail makes a 180-degree turn. Here you leave the PCT and hike down to Burstarse Creek. (Keep a close watch for poison oak.) Follow the creek uphill 100 yards to the seclusion and beauty of the 40-foot waterfall. Upon your return to the spur trail off the PCT that you hiked up from Castle Creek Road, continue another .6 mile on the PCT to the shady waters of Sulphur Creek before returning to the trailhead.
Maps: USGS 7.5′ Dunsmuir; USFS 7.5′ Castle Crags Wilderness.