The "Forbidden Falls"

May 14, 2017


Warning. The following post features stunts that should not be re-enacted. We insist that no one attempt to recreate any stunt or activity performed in this post. DO NOT try this at home.

Visiting the “Forbidden Falls” involves elements of danger; trespassing through private property, risking fines, train dodging and navigating an unsteady trail, therefore you are warned against hiking to these falls.


The path to Mossbrae Falls (Dunsmuir, CA) is top-secret and littered with “No Trespassing” signs. Because you won’t be performing this activity you don’t need to know that you can find parking on Dunsmuir Ave at the intersection of Scarlet Way and you certainly won’t need the following hush-hush directions: Stealthily navigate through a private neighborhood (Shasta Retreat) and turn right when you reach the bottom of the hill. Cross the bridge over the Sacramento River and turn right towards the railroad tracks. Follow the tracks northward, upstream (trespassing on Union Pacific RR property) for about 30 minutes. Hike on the East side of the tracks for safety and listen for trains as they get harder to hear as you get closer to the falls. When you reach the train trestle do not cross it, but veer right down to the river.

When you reach the falls you are rewarded with a breath-taking, verdant wall of gushing green ledges. The lush moss provides a luxuriant backdrop for a spring that virtually seeps out of a cliff wall, making Mossbrae one of the most romantic of all waterfalls. The pure water cascades out of a short but wide overhang into the Sacramento River.

Because you will definitely not try this activity, you also don’t need to know you should bring hiking boots, snacks, water, camera, and some common sense.


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