2.7 miles one way
1220 to 1240 feet
Enter at your own risk
The Carr Fire burned through 98% of the park’s forested lands in the summer of 2018. Be aware of hazards created by the fire, including falling trees and limbs, burned out stump holes, abandoned mine features, and loose rocks. Watch the weather and do not hike if rain is forecast. Rain storms present the possibility of flash flooding, landslides and debris flows in the fire area. Stay on established roads and trails and report hazards to park dispatch, (530) 242-3431.
From Highway 299, take the turn for Oak Bottom. In about 100 meters, the Oak Bottom Water Ditch Trailhead is on your right. The trailhead can be identified by a small kiosk and dirt parking lot. If you pass the campground store or the turnoff for Oak Bottom Tent Campground, you have driven too far. Be sure and lock your vehicle and take valuables with you. Please purchase an entrance pass to avoid a fine.
Oak Bottom Water Ditch Trail is a mostly flat trail that parallels the western arm of Whiskeytown Lake from the Oak Bottom area to the Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse area. Because it is the only trail in the national recreation area that goes directly along the lakeshore, it is the park’s best trail for birding. Bald eagle, osprey, green heron, bufflehead duck (scroll to bottom of page for photo), American coot, Canadian geese, mallard, and other species that rely on the lake for their survival can sometimes be seen or heard from the trail.
Green cattails and Whiskeytown Lake juxtaposed against a smoky sky. Photo taken from Oak Bottom Water Ditch Trail, August 2021.
Shasta Bally and Whiskeytown Lake as viewed from Oak Bottom Water Ditch Trail in April 2021.
Bufflehead ducks on Whiskeytown Lake as viewed along Oak Bottom Water Ditch Trail. April 2021.
Last updated: September 13, 2021