Middle Falls – McCloud River

Middle Falls on the McCloud River

Middle Falls on the McCloud river is an easy destination from both McCloud and the Eagle’s Rest. From town, travel east on Hwy 89 for approximately 5.75 miles until you see the park entrance on your right. Look for signs for Lower Falls and Fowler’s Campground from the highway and then once in the park you can follow signs to reach Middle Falls.

Visitors can either park near the top of the falls in the lot and hike down to the base, or you can use our preferred method of access and park near Lower Falls and hike up the trail up to Middle Falls. The trail is fairly flat and takes you on a good hike through the forest before emerging at the base of Middle Falls.

Where’s Waldo? Can you spot the Pawlow boys getting up their courage for a jump?

Plan to spend a half-day of longer swimming in the massive pool below the falls, clamoring over the rocks, splashing in the rapids and exploring the cliff face. For more adventurous types, the cliff to the left as you face the falls provides some excellent “jump-in” points that overhang deep water. You can steadily work your way higher up the cliff as your courage builds throughout the day. While Cindy and I haven’t made this jump, all three of our boys have, and our youngest son Nate led the way on the first jump after the trio spent about 15 minutes contemplating the height of their perch! (Can you find them in the photo?) We have even seen folks jump off the face of the falls themselves, although this isn’t recommended for mere mortals.

Perhaps the best activity at Middle Falls is simply doing nothing. Cindy has found a favorite “rock” (more like a natural mattress) that fits her perfectly and allows her to soak in the hot sun, while lying on a hot rock and occasionally dipping her feet into the cold water. Ahhhh, life’s little pleasures!

Unlike Lower Falls, Middle Falls is not as friendly for families with small children as the rocks are uneven and the current swift. That said, you must at least visit the falls on a trip to McCloud as they are by far the most spectacular in the area. A view from the top of the falls is an easy walk from the Middle Falls parking lot.