The Cascade Trail is located within the Plumas National Forest at a junction between the Sierra Nevada and Cascades Mountain Ranges. This is a rocky, rugged area, filled with ridges and valleys, creeks, and wilderness too deep for many to venture into. This trail, however, is easy to get to and relatively easy to hike, and its rewards include a refreshing swimming hole at its northern end beneath the falls that give it its name.
A gentle climb greets you as you begin at the southern end of the trail about .4 mile from the parking area off "Old Highway," a short distance from Highway 70. Two trailheads are available at the southernmost point of the trail: at its intersection with the Spanish Traverse Trail, and at the South Park Trailhead at the Mount Hough Ranger Station.
After you reach the top of your initial climb, the trail descends a short distance. Signs point the way past a fork in the trail, where you need to stay to the left. Now the fun begins, with a steep and rocky climb, with some loose shale to test your footing, to Spanish Creek, which you'll follow for the rest of your hike. A series of switchbacks straighten to a smooth, rolling trail with only a few more rough spots. This pleasant hike ends with the cascade falls themselves, formed from the spots where Spanish Creek has cut through the shale to flow down to the valley floor, where you'll find an inviting swimming hole. You and your fur-pup would love a splash and paddle here! The return trip begins at the Forest Service Spanish Creek Day Use Area, also known as the Cascade Trailhead, and heads south.
Whether you and your pooch start or end at the northern Cascade Trailhead, you'll have a woofderful few hours among the Douglas firs and white pines watching for deer, bear, and bald eagles! With campgrounds nearby and other furbulous trails on offer, you'll want to stay and explore!
Some sections of this trail are steep and rocky, with a few slippery spots. Wear good hiking shoes. Carry bear repellant spray, as they are residents here.