Whiskeytown Falls (Click For Video)
Haven’t figured out how to use those unused vacation days? We have just the perfect destination. Redding, the last major city on Interstate 5 as you near Mt. Shasta, is the undisputed Trail Capital of California with over 225 miles of trails within 15 miles of its city center.
Redding is also the gateway to the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Few areas managed by the National Park Service allow dogs out of campgrounds or off of paved roads, but this one is a welcome exception. Yes, you do have to leash-up on the 70 miles of trails, but it is worth it as dogs and humans can cool off paws and heels at any of the four waterfalls and go off-leash where the trails meet the lake as long as they respond well to voice commands.
Whiskeytown Falls, a 220-foot-tall showpiece kept secret for 40 years, is accessible via the fairly strenuous, 3.4-mile (round trip) James C. Carr Trail, which, be forewarned, is often slippery and wet. Boulder Creek Falls, tumbling 138 feet into a shady box canyon, can be reached via a 1-mile route from Mill Creek Road, while Brandy Creek Falls, plunging in five stages over granite boulders, is a 3-mile round trip rated “moderate.” Crystal Creek Falls, created to handle overflow from the Carr Powerhouse, is accessible via a flat walk of less than half a mile.
The most important part of visiting Whiskeytown is practicing responsible dog ownership. By following the leash requirements, the restrictions on the four beaches where dogs cannot go and being courteous to your fellow trail mates (other dog owners, hikers, bikers and equestrians), we will be able to protect our access to this wonderful national treasure.