"This trio of robust waterfalls, when surrounded by a blanket of snow, seems extra special and photogenic. Tune into a wild river that teases you with the first waterfall, entices you with the second, and then blows the doors down with the third waterfall. Skipping Upper McCloud Falls would be like walking out of a mystery movie two-thirds of the way through. All three of these misting falls are encompassed in granite, but the similarities end there. In contrast, Lower Falls are tame while Middle Falls exude a spiritual feel where a soul can hark back to the days when the Wintu Indians must have found deep peace on one of the huge rocks at the scene. Intense Upper Falls aren’t as photogenic as Middle Falls but are arguably the most breathtaking and certainly carry the most water force. This trip has a lot to admire for little energy expense. Note that you can make the journey much longer (even a backpack trip) by continuing on a new trail section that traces the banks of fast-flowing McCloud River. After 14 miles, yew conifer at trailside. It features a peeling, madrone-like trunk with redwood-like needles. Shortly, you’ll see, but not hear, a charging sheet of white just beyond a big rock so imposing that it forces the course of the river to veer."