McCloud River Preserve

Length: 5.4 miles round trip

High Point: 2100 feet

Elevation Gain: 350 feet

Difficulty: easy to moderate

When to Hike: early April through November

Controlling Agency: The Nature Conservancy’s McCloud River Preserve; PO Box 409, McCloud, CA 96057

Special Features: gorgeous stretch of the McCloud River; informative nature trail; diverse plant life; abundant animal life

Directions to the Trailhead: Take Highway 89 to McCloud and turn south on Squaw Creek Road. Continue on the main road as you reach McCloud Reservoir at 9 miles. Bear right at a road fork at 11.4 miles onto Road 38N53. Let signs for Ah-Di-Na Campground and the Nature Conservancy guide you the rest of the way: bear left at 12 miles, go straight at 13.8 miles; travel past the Ah-Di-Na Campground at 17.4 miles, and reach the trail parking area at 18.5 miles.

Description and Comments: No pets or camping allowed. Head .4 mile to a cabin where you collect a nature trail guide and other information about the preserve and the Nature Conservancy. Let the brochure guide you to the 18 information posts.

When you are ready, follow the trail downstream. It winds between shaded forest and open spaces beside the river. You’ll find excellent swimming holes and good places to sit and soak in the solitude and ambience. The path ends 2.7 miles from the trailhead.

Maps: USGS 7.5′ Shoeinhorse Mtn, USGS 7.5′ Yellowjacket Mtn.