Waterfalls of Whiskeytown

If you would like to get some healthy exercise and have a wonderful adventure, consider taking the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge and hike to all four waterfalls (Brandy Creek Falls, Boulder Creek Falls, Crystal Creek Falls, and Whiskeytown Falls). Visitors who complete the challenge will receive a free "I Walked the Falls" bandanna (while supplies last). Click here to print your Waterfall Passport to take with you on your adventure.

 

2017 Whiskeytown Waterfall Week!

Celebrate National Park Week with the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge

The National Park Service invites visitors to “Find Your Waterfall” by taking the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge during National Park Week, which begins Saturday, April 15th and runs through Sunday, April 23rd. Visitors can complete the Whiskeytown Waterfall Challenge on their own by obtaining a free Waterfall Challenge Passport at the visitor center or by obtaining one on a ranger-led hike. With the passport, visitors can hike to Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Crystal Creek and Whiskeytown Falls and stop at the trail register located at the base of each waterfall. Each register has a unique plaque which visitors can use to create a colored impression within their passport. Once all four waterfalls are complete, visitors can then return the passport to the visitor center to receive their completion stamp and a special gift (while supplies last). The challenge can be completed during multiple visits, or, finish them all in one day for bragging rights.

Join a park ranger for free ranger-led hikes to the park’s four major waterfalls, including ADA accessible Crystal Creek Falls. Hikes will be offered daily from Saturday, April 15th through Sunday, April 23rd. In addition to morning hikes to the falls, this year, Whiskeytown is offering something new – evening hikes to the falls!

See the list of scheduled hikes below.

Hikes are limited to 20 participants. Beginning April 1st, you can reserve your spot by calling the visitor center at (530) 246-1225.

In celebration of National Park Week, the weekends of April 15th-16th and April 22nd -23rd, will be fee-free at Whiskeytown and all 413 National Park units.

Ranger-led Hikes to the Falls

** Scheduled Hikes are Subject to Change or Cancellation due to Weather and Road Conditions **
 
Date Hike Meet at Visitor Center Meet at Trailhead
Saturday, April 15
Fee Free Day!
Whiskeytown Falls
Crystal Creek Falls (ADA accessible)
Brandy Creek Falls
8:30 a.m.
1:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 16
Fee Free Day!
Brandy Creek Falls
Crystal Creek Falls (ADA accessible)
Whiskeytown Falls
8:30 a.m.
1:30 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m.
Monday, April 17 Boulder Creek Falls (from Mill Creek Road) 8:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 18 Whiskeytown Falls
Boulder Creek Falls (from Mill Creek Road)
8:30 a.m.
4:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 19 Brandy Creek Falls
Whiskeytown Falls
8:30 a.m.
4:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 20 Boulder Creek Falls (from Mill Creek Road) 8:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.
Friday, April 21 Whiskeytown Falls 8:30 a.m. 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 22
Fee Free Day!
Brandy Creek Falls
Crystal Creek Falls (ADA accessible)
8:30 a.m.
1:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 23
Fee Free Day!
Whiskeytown Falls
Crystal Creek Falls (ADA accessible)
8:30 a.m.
1:30 p.m.
9:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m.
 

Whiskeytown has four major waterfalls that you can visit all year. The best time to visit the waterfalls is in the spring when the creeks are bursting with the runoff from melting snow. During the summer months a hike to a waterfall provides a cool break from the heat of the valley.

Whiskeytown invites families, friends and children to get outside, get some good exercise and enjoy these special treasures of Whiskeytown.

Whiskeytown promotes responsible outdoor recreation. Please help us further the mission of the National Park Service to conserve the scenery and to leave it unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

Detailed trail guides and information are available at the Visitor Center or you may print at home your own copy of our trail guides from our hiking page.

Please contact the Visitor Center to check for current trail conditions.

 
Image of upper Whiskeytown Falls from the viewpoint
Whiskeytown Falls form the upper viewpoint

NPS

Whiskeytown Falls
For over 40 years this 220-foot waterfall was only a secret to the few that knew it existed. For a variety of reasons, some people decided not to share the falls' existence with others. Today, people from all over the world have heard about the hidden secret.

After two summers of work, the National Park Service opened the trail to Whiskeytown Falls. The trail itself has been named in honor of James K. Carr, one of Redding's native sons.

By developing the Carr Trail, Whiskeytown continues to expand on its exceptional recreational opportunities for the public.

Click here to view or print a trail guide for the James K. Carr Trail to Whiskeytown Falls.

 
Image of lower Boulder Creek Falls
Boulder Creek Falls

Helene Fischman

Boulder Creek Falls
At over 138 feet high, Boulder Creek Falls was thought to be the tallest waterfall in the park until Whiskeytown Falls was re-discovered in fall of 2004.

The three cascades of Boulder Creek Falls are tucked into a dark, shaded box canyon filled with moss and ferns. The forest around Boulder Creek Falls was selectively logged in the 1950s. As you hike to the falls you are on the main hauling road that carried old-growth Douglas fir and ponderosa pines to the sawmill. When the park was established in 1965, some logging continued into the early 70's. Once the logging ended the forest began to recover.

Click here to view or print a trail guide to Boulder Creek Falls via the 2.75-mile route from South Shore Drive.

Click here to view or print a trail guide to Boulder Creek Falls via the shorter one-mile route from Mill Creek Road.

 
Brandy Creek Falls
Brandy Creek Falls

NPS

Brandy Creek Falls
Brandy Creek is noted for five large cascading falls that sweep down across the polished granite rock in the upper box canyon. Upper Brandy Creek Falls plunge in a unique split formation through the steep vertical walls.

The umbrella-leafed indian rhubarb is one of the first spring flowers to appear, displaying an array of brilliant pink blossoms. In the fall, the leaves of the indian rhubarb turn a bright orange color.

The trail to the falls was improved in 2005 with hand-hewn rock steps and a metal railing to help hikers safely reach the top of the waterfall. Please stay on the trail and watch your footing on the slippery rocks.

Click here to view or print a trail guide to Brandy Creek Falls.

 
Image of Crystal Creek Falls
Lower Crystal Creek Falls

Heather Hockett

Lower Crystal Creek Falls
Lower Crystal Creek Falls is the only "man-made" waterfall in the park. When the Central Valley Project was designed in the 1920s, an important component was the diversion of a large portion of the Trinity River to Whiskeytown Lake and from there to the Sacramento River. A 17-mile tunnel was excavated to transport the water underground from Trinity Dam to Carr Powerhouse and the tailings were dumped in the area near Crystal Creek Falls.

When it is necessary to shut down Carr Powerhouse for maintenance or to enter the tunnel for cleaning, the valve is turned and the excess water from the tunnel spills into Crystal Creek.

When the overflow structure was built, the Bureau of Reclamation rerouted Crystal Creek. The creek was moved about 50 feet to the left to make a shortcut over the cliff, creating this picturesque waterfall. Click here to view or print a trail guide to Crystal Creek Falls.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095

Phone:

(530) 242-3400

Contact Us