Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the new waterfalls?
Whiskeytown Falls, located on the James K. Carr Trail are the “rediscovered” waterfalls. Located in the spring of 2004, park biologist Russ Weatherbee and geologist Brian Rasmussen explored the Crystal Creek drainage for several days, trying to locate the waterfalls after studying maps and aerial photos. The first path was cleared through the second growth forest in the winter of 2005. The trail was officially opened to the public on August 4, 2005. The trail is named in honor of James K. Carr, a Redding native who helped create Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.
Where are the kayak tours?
Free kayak tours are available during the summer season out of Oak Bottom and Brandy Creek. Weekend tours are available on a limited basis in September.
What hiking and biking trails exist at Whiskeytown? How can I find out about the difficulty level of a trail?
Whiskeytown has numerous hiking and biking trails. They cover a cross section of the park’s terrain, from cool mountain streams that wander through a conifer forests to sunny and rocky trails up steep hillsides. Each guide describes the trail, the difficulty level and includes a map.
Looking for a good place to picnic?
Numerous picnic sites abound at Whiskeytown. The lakeshore offers numerous informal picnic sites. For benches, barbecue pits and a chance to swim, try Brandy Creek, Oak Bottom, Whiskey Creek and the Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse. Be aware that dogs are not allowed on the beaches at Oak Bottom, Brandy Creek and East Beach. Dogs are not allowed in the Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area. (Link to Picnics and Beaches)
What about swimming areas?
Designated swim areas are Brandy Creek Beach, Oak Bottom and East Beach. Brandy Creek is the only beach with a lifeguard during the summer months. Be sure to know your skill level when swimming and never swim alone. Dogs are not allowed on the beaches.
Where can we camp and how much does it cost?
Whiskeytown features campgrounds for RV and tent camping as well as group campsites. Primitive campsites are available at Coggins Park, Crystal Creek, Peltier Bridge, Sheep Camp and Horse Camp. “Food Management” is important at all campsites due wildlife, especially our healthy bear population. Be sure to use the food storage lockers.
After June 1st, 2015, primitive campsites and Brandy Creek RV Campground costs $15/night, Dry Creek Group Campground cost $80/night. Contact the visitor center at (530) 246-1225 for more information.
Camping facilities at Oak Bottom are managed by Forever Resorts, with regular tent campsites at $23/night, shoreline tent campsites at $25/night, and Oak Bottom RV sites at $20/night. For information and to make reservations, call Forever Resorts at (530) 359-2269.
What about wild animals?
The park borders timber and park lands to the west and north, providing habitat to a wide variety of wildlife. It’s an exciting place to visit! Please remember that feeding wildlife encourages “begging” and dependency on humans. The larger the animal, the more assertive animals become in demanding food from humans. Always use food lockers to prevent bears and other wildlife from pillaging your food supply. Avoid hiking alone to protect yourself from surprise encounters with mountain lions.
Where can I fish? What fishing regulations apply?
Boat launch areas are Brandy Creek Marina, Oak Bottom and Whiskey Creek. There are handicapped accessible fishing piers at Whiskey Creek and Oak Bottom. California Department of Fish and Game fishing regulations apply at Whiskeytown Lake. Be aware that live minnows cannot be used as bait at Whiskeytown. Species include rainbow and brown trout; largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass; and kokanee salmon.
What about boating?
Sailing, canoeing, water skiing and kayaking are all popular boating activities on Whiskeytown. All federal and state boating regulations apply at Whiskeytown. Observe all restricted boating areas. Personal watercrafts (PWC) such as jet skis are PROHIBITED on Whiskeytown Lake.