The name of the town itself is already intriguing. There are a few different stories stating how Whiskeytown got it’s name, although the stories are quite different, they both involve lots of whiskey during the gold mining days. In fact, the town’s name ‘Whiskeytown’ was not recognized by the federal government for about 80 years, because it was considered inappropriate.
This small unincorporated community in Shasta county boasts a beautiful lake with the option for recreational sports and miles of hiking with sights of waterfalls and rainforest like scenery. About 10 miles west of Redding, CA and a short 1.5 hour day trip from Chico, Ca., Whiskeytown makes for a great day of exploring.
During our trip, we visited two waterfalls, Crystal Creek Falls Trail and Whiskeytown Falls. Crystal Creek Falls was a short 1/3 mile walk from the car, and so worth the stop on your way up to Whiskeytown Falls. After taking pictures of the man made falls, we rock climbed up above the falls to find a small grotto with a small, but enchanting waterfall. We made this trip in the spring, so all the rocks were covered with moss and the greenery, which made us feel like forest fairies.
About a few miles up the road, is the James K. Carr trail which reaches the Whiskeytown Falls. This 220 foot waterfall was kept secret up until 2005, and only a few lucky people knew of this majestic wonderland. We made this day trip on Mother’s Day, which was a very popular day to hike this trail. Although the parking lot was filled with people, we had just enough privacy walking space from other visitors. It’s quite a hill up to the falls, but the views are worth every step. When you’re out of breath on the way up and about to ask the hikers on the way down “how much longer until the falls?” You are most likely “almost there.”
Crystal Creek Falls
Above Crystal Creek Falls
Whiskeytown Falls- 220 feet tall!
Beautiful scenery along James K Carr Trail
You can walk up the waterfall until it becomes too dangerous.
Whiskeytown Falls and Crystal Creek Falls Trail Guide