According to the NPS, "for several decades this series of waterfalls over 220ft in height was a closely guarded secret, and possibly so secret according to reports that at one time the National Park Service might have actually misplaced its location."
The falls were rediscovered in 2004 and - after two summers of work by the National Park Service (NPS) - opened to the public in 2005. The Whiskeytown area is just a short distance from Mount Shasta and other note worth peaks that might draw hikers to this area. This hike is more of a relaxing stroll in comparison. The Whiskeytown area is home to 3 other falls of note: Boulder Creek, Brandy Creek and Lower Crystal Creek Falls.
Whiskeytown Falls cascades down a series of steps and it's quite difficult to do justice with the images attached, which only capture one or two steps.
Naturally, spring and early summer may be the best times to experience these falls. However, if your real reason for coming to the area is for other bigger hikes (as many people on this website would be), one has to take into account early season accessibility for those trails.
No dogs. Not wheelchair accessible. Bikes and horses permitted as far as the picnic area.
• 700ft (from 2,200 - 2,900ft)
• 3.4 miles
• 2.5 hrs round trip (or 1 hour for a nice jog)
A trail-map/topo-image is attached. The trail is called James K. Carr Trail and starts on a logging road before turning into a hiking trail. You will follow Crystal creek briefly and then hit a junction. At the junction take the right-hand trail that leads uphill. There is a eventually a picnic area beyond which horses and bikes can not continue. The final section of trail follows the creek for 0.25 miles then you are at the bottom of the falls.
From the bottom of the falls there is a stone and steep stair case to the left leading you up the cascading falls.
From the 299 go to Crystal Creek road (eight miles from the Whiskeytown Visitors Center). Drive 2.75 miles to the "Mill Creek Trailhead" at a little carpark (just a few spots there) on the left. Look for the "James K Carr" trail for Whiskeytown Falls.