|It rises from several spring-fed streams in the Cascades approximately 10 miles southeast of Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County. It flows initially west, passing south of Mt. Shasta and receiving streams that drain the southern slope of the peak. From Mt. Shasta it flows generally southwest through Lake McCloud and through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. It joins Shasta Lake, formed by the Shasta Dam, approximately 15 miles north of Redding, with the lower 10 miles of the river forming the middle arm of the lake. The McCloud arm joins in at the Pit River Bridge on Interstate 5, 5 miles north of the city of Shasta Lake. The river is well known for a series of waterfalls which tumble over basaltic lava flows, known collectively as the Falls of the McCloud River.