The Popular Hedge Creek Falls In Northern California Was Once The Hideout Of An Infamous Stagecoach Robber
Located near the town of Dunsmuir, the beautiful Hedge Creek Falls is a popular spot for nature lovers and waterfall chasers. This waterfall’s magnificent beauty is no secret, but did you know it was also the hideout for one of the West’s most infamous stagecoach robbers? It sounds downright strange, but it’s true. Long before it was a popular tourist attraction along Interstate 5, this waterfall was “home” to one of the most wanted men in America for a short time. It’s a story that makes this popular waterfall all the more fascinating!
Located right along Hedge Creek in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Hedge Creek Falls is a true gem. The 35-foot waterfall is absolutely beautiful and a popular destination for hiking and waterfall enthusiasts, and its little-known history makes it even more unique.
As it turns out, this gorgeous cascade acted as the hideout of one of the Wild West's most infamous criminals: Charles E. Bolton. Better known as Black Bart, the outlaw made a career out of robbing stagecoaches along the area's Siskiyou Trail.
Born in England before his family moved to New York, Bolton started out as just one of the many men who traveled West in search of riches during the Gold Rush. However, nothing ever came of his prospecting escapades, and therefore Black Bart took it upon himself to find other ways to strike it big.
Black Bart committed a string of robberies in the 1880s in various parts of Northern California and Southern Oregon. Legend has it, Bart would appear on foot with a flour sack over his head, pointing a shotgun at the stagecoach and politely asking for the money to be handed over. He was notably non-violent, never discharging his gun during the robberies.
As he was spending a lot of time on the Siskiyou Trail, Black Bart was on the hunt for a lookout where he could rest, clean up, and hide from authorities or angry townspeople. The 12-foot cave located below Hedge Creek Falls was the perfect solution.
Although just a short hike from the interstate today, this cave was as remote as can be in Black Bart's day. It made for an excellent hiding spot. Not only that, but the creek's flowing water was perfect for cleaning himself up so he could go out and commit more robberies. However, Black Bart's luck was soon to run out.
Bolton made the big mistake of leaving behind a handkerchief at the scene of one of his crimes. Authorities used the piece of evidence to trace him back to the boarding house where he lived, arresting him in 1883. Black Bart would spend four years at San Quentin for his crimes.
Black Bart seemed to disappear off the face of the earth shortly after his release from prison. His whereabouts for the rest of his life are unknown. However, if you visit the very same cave that lies beneath Hedge Creek Falls today you may just feel a little bit of Black Bart's presence.
Did you know the story behind Hedge Creek Falls and its role as a stagecoach robber’s hideout? We’re learning new things about Northern California every day. Check out more fascinating spots like this one with our list of
11 Must-Visit Historical Landmarks In Northern California. Address: Hedge Creek Falls, 4131 Dunsmuir Ave, Dunsmuir, CA 96025, USA