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Contact: Jim Milestone, (530) 242-3460
On Wednesday mornings, May 22, 2013 and May 29, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., Park Rangers will meet the public at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area's Visitor Center to lead a hike to the base of Whiskeytown Falls. The hike is 1.7 miles from the trail head to the base of Whiskeytown Falls and is described as moderate to strenuous, since the climb is uphill nearly the entire distance. The ranger hike will return to the Visitor Center parking lot in three hours time (return around noon).
Whiskeytown Falls is the tallest waterfall in Shasta County and flows year round. The waterfall is fed through hundreds of springs located in the old growth forest of Shasta Bally Mountain. The 6,200 foot peak has an orographic influence on local weather that causes the moisture laden clouds to precipitate, far exceeding rainfall levels of notoriously rainy Seattle, Washington.
Whiskeytown Falls was "re-discovered" in 2004 by the Park's Wildlife Biologists, Russ Weatherbee, after knowledge of the falls location and size was lost over time. Park Rangers Henry LaSalle and Jack Holland first discovered the falls in 1968 when the private land the falls is located on was purchased by the National Park Service. Prior to this time, Native Americans, individual hunters and some logging crews had seen the falls, but knowledge was restricted to only a handful of people who had access to the property. When Park Rangers discovered the falls location in 1968, first Park Superintendent Leone Mitchell decided to keep it secret for fear the "hippies and beatniks will trash the place." Rangers Henry LaSalle and Jack Holland transferred to other national parks during the 1970s, and Superintendent Leone Mitchell died in 1977. The old logging roads which led to the area of the falls, washed out in winter storms and second growth trees hid the old trail to falls for the next 40 years.
The 2004 re-discovery of Whiskeytown Falls was a boom to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area's visitation and peaked interest in the park's backcountry trails and other waterfalls in the park. Approximately 6,000 visitors a year hike to Whiskeytown Falls to see the 260 foot cascading waterfall. For more information contact Jim Milestone, Park Superintendent, at 530-242-3460.