Whiskeytown National Recreational Area

Whiskeytown National Recreational Area

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 40.61864°N / 122.52365°W
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Whiskeytown National Recreational Area is a popular area just west of Redding. It offers activities for people of all ages, interests, etc. Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, camping, and probably even rock climbing can all be found here. In the winter, snow hiking/climbing and skiing can be accomplished on Shasta Bally.

The area is centered around Whiskeytown lake, a reservoir that was created under the order of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The lake's main water source is the Trinity River and Clear Creek. Water from the Trinity River is piped to the Carr powerhouse. Additional tributaries include Brandy, Boulder, Crystal, Mill, and Willow Creeks, among other unnamed streams.

The area lies within the klamath mountains, an extensive range that covers most of far northern california. Due to its closeness to the central valley, Shasta Bally and South Fork Mountain, rise very dramatically, so a veiw west from redding will consist of not much else. Equally interesting i]s the fact that behind Shasta Bally, very few peaks are nearly as high for a good distance.

WHishkeytown NRA is also part of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity NRA, a group of three sepertate units all centered around three different lakes, giving the units their names. Whiskeytown is the smallest of the units, and the only one managed by the national park service.


Swimming is very popular at Brandy Creek beach, located where Brandy Creek enters the lake. In the summer, there is a float in the middle that allows people the thrill of actually jumping into the water and of diving, I believe. Lifeguards are sometimes present and dogs are not allowed.

Other swimming areas include East Beach and an area just past the main visitor center on Highway 299.


Whiskeytown NRA offers various levels of hiking, ranging from easy Davis gulch and oak bottom water ditch trails to the road and trails up Shasta Bally. The road from sheep camp gains almost 5000 feet over a distance of 5.6 miles! The trail is slightly longer but has less gain.

Various trails strech around the lake, either at the shoreline or hundreds of feet above, and all make for pleasent hiking when done in the fall or winter. In the spring they are infested with annoying bugs, and in summer the problem is somewhat obvious.

Other hikes include hikes to the many waterfalls along brandy, boulder, and crystal creeks.

External Links

Whiskeytown NRA headquarters


You can camp at Sheep Camp, Brandy Creek campground, Boulder Creek campgrounds 1 and 2, Coggins Park, Crystal Creek campground,and others. The park page is very limited in information about camping. You are better off to ask park staff at the visitor center.

Getting there

Take 299 west from Redding 8 miles. Once at the visitor center, park and get a ticket.



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Klamath MountainsAreas & Ranges