Whiskeytown Falls Trail

Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area - Whiskeytown Unit, California

Elevation Gain1,073ft
Trailhead Elevation2,809ft
Elevation Min/Max2206/2817ft
Elevation Start/End2809/2809ft

Whiskeytown Falls Trail

Whiskeytown Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Shasta County, California. It is within Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area - Whiskeytown Unit. It is 1.1 miles long and begins at 2,809 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,073 feet.

Whiskeytown Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A relentless climb up an old logging road leads to a waterfall that once was a well-kept secret. As you make your way up the unforgiving trail to Whiskeytown Falls, you may assume that the nonstop climbing was what screened this waterfall from common knowledge for more than 40 years.

Not so, according to park literature: Loggers working in the rugged forest when it was in private hands undoubtedly knew of the falls, as did rangers in the 1960s, when the land was preserved as a national recreation area."

"This reasonably shady for summer, peaceful hike along a well- groomed dirt trail follows Mills Creek into a box canyon to the base of the falls. The trail ends at a short, narrow, and steep path of steps carved into the rock with a metal railing to a falls overlook.

The Whiskeytown Falls hike is one of many excursions available to you and your pooch. The trail starts downhill along an old logging road and across a new bridge that stands over the west fork of Crystal Creek. The shady trail levels off until the junction for Mill Creek Trail and Whiskeytown Falls. Bear right to Whiskeytown Falls, and as you walk up the steep, narrow canyon, just try to imagine this as a roadbed with caravans of logging trucks ferrying loads of Douglas fir, pine, and cedar—it’s not easy to do."

"It would be a serious lapse in judgment to write a hiking guide with trails in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and leave out this little hike up to the park’s namesake waterfall, Whiskeytown Falls."

"In this day and age, “losing” a significant waterfall is hard to imagine, but that’s exactly what occurred with Whiskeytown Falls. In 2004 park biologist Russ Weatherbee rediscovered the falls, not as he stumbled across the dramatic cascade in the field but as he was examining some aerial photos in his office. Subsequently, Weatherbee and a fellow National Park Service geologist, Brian Rasmussen, hiked to the falls and confirmed what had been seen on the photos."

"If you’re ready for an adventure, then trek up to Whiskeytown Falls, but bring along a well-rested body and maybe even some energy bars for the climb. The 1.7-mile one-way trail hikes steadily up a decomposed granite path paralleling beautiful Crystal Creek, in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Just when you think you can’t take another step up the 700-foot grade, you arrive at exhilarating Whiskeytown Falls, a large flow that crashes vigorously along a lengthy series of rocky rapids."

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Trail Information

Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area - Whiskeytown Unit
Nearby City
Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area - Whiskeytown Unit
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, 14412 Kennedy Memorial Dr., PO Box 188, Whiskeytown, CA 96095; (530) 242-3400; www.nps.gov/whis/planyourvisit/ waterfalls-of-whiskeytown.htm
Local Contacts
USGS French Gulch CA; trail guide and map available on the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area website
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018