"Don't go chasing waterfalls," notes the line of a popular song by TLC. Yet here at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, we encourage you to chase waterfalls - go visit them! The park has four major waterfalls, or cascades. Currently, Boulder Creek Falls, Whiskeytown Falls, and Crystal Creek Falls are open to the public. Brandy Creek Falls remain temporarily closed due to post-Carr Fire environmental hazards and safety concerns. Continue reading for information on each waterfall or download our trail guides for each waterfall trail.
Boulder Creek Falls
The three cascades of Boulder Creek Falls are tucked into a dark, shaded box canyon filled with moss and ferns. This cool respite is inviting after hiking uphill from South Shore Drive (2.7 miles one way, 1,000 feet elevation gain) or from the top of Mill Creek Road (1.1 mile one way, 150 feet elevation gain).
The tallest cascade in the park, Whiskeytown Falls is reached via a strenuous 1.7 mile hike (3.4 miles roundtrip) on the James K. Carr Trail. The trail follows some steep sections of old logging roads and climbs approximately 700 feet to the falls. Offering good exercise, shade, views through the mixed conifer forest, and a backcountry experience, the James K. Carr Trail to Whiskeytown Falls is the most popular trail in the park. At the base of the waterfall, be sure and carefully climb up the cement stairs to the upper viewing platform.
Crystal Creek Falls
The short 0.5 mile trail to Crystal Creek Falls is paved, flat, and accessible. The shallow natural pool at the base of the cascade is a popular spot for swimming and wading in the summer. There is ample shade.
Brandy Creek Falls
The Brandy Creek Falls Trail remains closed due to post-Carr Fire environmental hazards and safety concerns. The upper portion of this trail was completely destroyed during heavy rains the winter after the Carr Fire.
Last updated: May 2, 2022