• Gabriella Viola

My Solo Road Trip Chasing Waterfalls in Northern Califonia and Oregon

Chasing waterfalls in northern california and oregon

There have been quite a few waterfalls in Northern California and Oregon that have been on my bucket list for the last several years. So, this past May, I decided to take a solo road trip dedicated to chasing as many waterfalls as I could throughout Northern California and Central Oregon. The road trip lasted 9 days, and the amount of natural beauty I saw blew me away!

In this post, I'll be sharing my road trip itinerary, including which waterfalls I visited, where I stayed, and any tips I picked up along the way!

*When exploring the outdoors, please keep it beautiful by Leaving No Trace*


Views of Mt Shasta from HWY 89 in Shasta California
Views of Mt Shasta from HWY 89

Itinerary and Where To Stay:

For this particular road trip, I only did some light planning. I had a pretty good idea of which waterfalls I wanted to see, but I wasn't sure how many days I wanted to spend at each spot. So, I decided to just book the hotels along the way-something I never do 😬. I usually like to have everything planned out and prebooked. But, doing it this way made the road trip feel even more adventurous! And luckily for me, there were quite a few budget-friendly hotel options along my route that I was able to book last minute.

Here's how my itinerary turned out, starting from South Lake Tahoe California (where I live):

Burney Falls: Burney, California (1 night)

McCloud Falls: Mt. Shasta, California (1 night)

Toketee, Watson & Clearwater Falls: Umpqua National Forest, Southern Oregon (2 nights)

Sahalie & Koosah Falls: Willamette National Forest, Central Oregon (2 nights)

Silver Falls State Park: Silverton, Oregon (1 night)

➝ Mt. Shasta, California (1 night)

➝ Back to South Lake Tahoe, California

I have included links to the hotels I stayed at in each section.


Burney, California

Catching a rainbow at Burney Falls in Burney California
Catching a rainbow at Burney Falls
Burney Falls in McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park in Burney California
Views from the base of Burney Falls

Coming from South Lake Tahoe, Burney Falls was the first stop on my trip. It's the only waterfall on this list that I have been to before, once in October 2019 and once in June 2020. Even though I've seen Burney Falls before, I still wanted to include it in the trip because 1. It's so friggin beautiful, and 2. It was on the way!

Not only is Burney Falls drop-dead gorgeous, but it's also easily accessible. The falls overlook is steps from the parking area, and the hike leading down to the base of the falls is only 0.3 miles.

I wrote a more in-depth blog post on Burney Falls from a previous visit. You can read more about it here.

Where I stayed: Charm Motel & Suites in Burney, California


Mt. Shasta, California

Middle McCloud Falls in Mt Shasta California
Middle McCloud Falls
Lower McCloud Falls in Mt Shasta California
Lower McCloud Falls
Middle McCloud Falls in Mt Shasta California

After spending the morning at Burney Falls, I headed an hour north along HWY 89 to McCloud Falls in Mt. Shasta, California. McCloud Falls is made up of three tiers: Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Lower Falls.

You can either hike the falls via the McCloud River Falls Trail or, you can drive right up to each section. I chose the easier route and drove to each tier. While at Middle McCloud Falls, I did the short hike down to the base of the falls, which I highly recommend!

Tip: If you only have time to visit one section of McCloud Falls, Middle Falls is the most impressive out of the three. For more information on McCloud Falls click here.

Where I stayed: Cold Creek Inn in Mt. Shasta California

Here's the video from my visit to Burney and McCloud Falls: