THING TO DO

Hike to Whiskeytown Falls

Upper Whiskeytown Falls
Upper Whiskeytown Falls

NPS/Lisa Johnston

Whiskeytown Falls is a series of cascades which drop 220 feet as the east fork of Crystal Creek winds down the slope of Shasta Bally.  The falls are accessed by the James K. Carr trail, a moderately strenuous 3.4 mile round-trip path which follows old logging routes through shade and sun in a forested area that was only lightly affected by the Carr Fire of 2018. Beginning at an elevation of 2200 feet, the trail descends for about .25 miles before making a steady ascent up to the falls at 2900 feet. Be sure to stay to the right at the Mill Creek trail junction.

About .25 miles from the end of the trail, you will find a level picnic area. Steps and handrails along the cascades are provided for safety. Upper levels of the path have been damaged since the Carr fire and may not be accessible until repair work is completed. Please to not continue past any closures.

Parking for the James K. Carr trail is located 3.5 miles up Crystal Creek Road on the west side of the park. A gravel parking lot will be on your left, perched over the forested ravine of Crystal Creek near the end of the paved road. If you have arrived at a closed gate, you have gone a little too far. A vault-style restroom is provided at the trailhead on the east side of the gravel lot.
 
Details
The hike to Whiskeytown Falls is 3.4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 700 feet starting at 2200 feet and climbing to 2900 feet.

The falls are accessed by the James K. Carr trail, a moderately strenuous 3.4 mile round-trip path which follows old logging routes through shade and sun in a forested area that was only lightly affected by the Carr Fire of 2018. Beginning at an elevation of 2200 feet, the trail descends for about .25 miles before making a steady ascent up to the falls at 2900 feet. Be sure to stay to the right at the Mill Creek trail junction. The Mill Creek trail is currently closed due to fire damage.

Any age that can complete a moderate hike of 3.4 miles round trip
Leashed pets are allowed on the trail.
A park entrance pass is required to enter and hike in Whiskeytown National Recreation area.

Starting at the Visitor Center, drive west 9 miles along Highway 299 to Crystal Creek Road.  Turn left onto Crystal Creek Road and drive for 3.5 miles until you reach the gravel parking lot on the left. 
 

Accessibility Information
Be aware that the James K. Carr trail is considered a moderately difficultly hike with a round trip distance of 3.4 miles and an elevation gain of 700. The trail is steep in places and is unpaved with loose rocks, sand and gravel. People with mobility issues are advised to use extra caution when considering participating in this activity. 

Last updated: November 6, 2020