Combining history and nature, the Ney Springs Canyon Trail near Siskiyou Lake in Mount Shasta City is an easy hike through the 19th century ruins of Ney Springs Resort with a waterfall payoff – the magnificent Faery Falls.
With the length of the trail being only 1.2 miles at a low-elevation, this is an easy hike that can be done any time of the year. The trail, which is actually a semi-usable dirt road,Â goes through a heavy forest in a canyon along the Ney Springs Creek.
A little over 3/4 of the way up the trail, you will find the old ruins of the Ney Springs Resort, a popular destination for local tourists in the 1800’s. In it’s heyday, the resort boasted an extensive complex and drew guests from all over the area.
The springs were discovered in 1887 by John Ney, who established the resort only a few years later. The resort’s hotel to accommodate 50 people and included a bathhouse, a barn and carriage hours. Boardwalks were constructed throughout the forested area nearby for visitors and pipes were installed from the springs for drinking water.
Today, little remains of the once bustling resort. Many of the old artifacts are covered by years of forest overgrowth, although a large retaining wall shows the foundation of the resort. You can find hundred year old pipes, cisterns and small ruins along the trail. The way the forest has reclaimed the wooded area creates an eerie quality for historians and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
From there on continue approximately 0.25 miles down the trail to gain access to Faery Falls. Depending on water flows, you will find a lively 40-ft cataract with a great vantage point.
Here’s our trip to the waterfall:
From the town of Mt. Shasta, head west on W. Lake, crossing over I-5. At the stop sign, turn left onto Old Stage Road. After 0.25 miles, veer right onto WA Barr Road. Continue south, crossing over the dam that impounds the Sacramento River and forms Lake Siskiyou. Just past the dam, make a left hand turn onto Castle Lake Road. Immediately make another left turn onto gravel, well maintained, Ney Springs Road.
Continue straight at 1 mile, passing the turn to the Ney Springs/Cantara Wildlife area. The road will turn to the west. After another 0.5 miles there is a large clearing on the left. Park here and hike up the road on the right. It is possible to continue driving up the road and some do, but it seems sensible to leave the car at this point, as the road degrades significantly beyond the clearing.