Distance: 3 miles
Elevation gain: 700ft (from 2,200 - 2,900ft)
For several decades Whiskeytown Falls was a closely guarded secret - possibly so secret that reports suggest that at one time the National Park Service might have actually misplaced its location. Today it's hard to miss the signs for the falls however, which lie just a few miles west of the boats and wave-riders which frolic upon the expanses of Whiskeytown Lake.
The recently opened James K. Carr Trail to Whiskeytown Falls begins at the side of Crystal Creek Road. Starting out on level ground the trail soon crosses the creek before climbing gently but steadily uphill. The winding trail passes through a mixture of oak and pine trees which become increasingly dense until you happen upon the torrent of water which is the waterfall.
Whiskeytown Falls cascades down a series of steps, with a total height around 220ft. Though it's impossible to capture the whole of the falls within the lens of a camera, there are still many photo opportunities to be had and the trail also climbs part-way up the falls for some even better views.
Spring and early summer may be the best times to experience these falls, and although the hike might be uncomfortable for some on the hottest days, the heat is somewhat mitigated by the shade of trees for most of the journey.
- Trailspotting Images: Whiskeytown Falls on Flickr
- NPS: Whiskeytown National Recreational Area
- Waterfalls West: Whiskeytown Falls