The McCloud River is unique, it rises almost full-sized from massive springs back in the deep forest at the south base of Mount Shasta. It was here that the Hearst family built their backwoods hideaway Wyntoon (still extant but not open to the public). The river runs swift and cold over three beautiful waterfalls, then is trapped in a dismal power generation reservoir for a few miles.
But below the dam the river is briefly reborn for a stretch considered one of the best trout streams anywhere. In fact a nineteenth century fish hatchery here was the original source of rainbow trout now planted around the world. Below the nature reserve sectiion the river runs into Lake Shasta.
(May 7, 2001)