The McCloud River is located in Shasta Cascade Region
, north of the Sierra Nevada
and at the southern end of the Cascade Range. The McCloud River passes through a scenic canyon beneath the slopes of Mount Shasta.
Fifteen miles of the lower McCloud was flooded with the completion of Shasta Dam in 1949, south of the McCloud s confluence with the Pit and Sacramento Rivers, blocking forever the huge salmon and steelhead runs. In 1965, McCloud Dam was built on the upper section of the river a few miles upstream from what is now the McCloud River Preserve.