Crystal Creek Falls
Highway 299 near Interstate 5 northwest of Redding
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Whiskeytown, California 96095
Partial closure due to Carr Fire: Crystal Creek Rd., the Tower House Historic District, and all points on the south side of the lake from Whiskeytown Dam to Carr Powerhouse remain closed.
Lower Crystal Creek Falls (ADA accessible) is the only "man-made" waterfall in the park. When the Central Valley Project was designed in the 1920s, an important component was the diversion of a large portion of the Trinity River to Whiskeytown Lake and from there to the Sacramento River. A 17-mile tunnel was excavated to transport the water underground from Trinity Dam to Carr Powerhouse and the tailings were dumped in the area near Crystal Creek Falls.
When it is necessary to shut down Carr Powerhouse for maintenance or to enter the tunnel for cleaning, the valve is turned and the excess water from the tunnel spills into Crystal Creek.
When the overflow structure was built, the Bureau of Reclamation rerouted Crystal Creek. The creek was moved about 50 feet to the left to make a shortcut over the cliff, creating this picturesque waterfall.
Leashed dogs allowed on trails. Over the years, dogs that have run freely off the trails have encountered mountain lions as well as suffered severe bouts of poison oak, notably on their noses and underbelly. Of course, this can then spread to us human types.
•Distance: .3 miles
•Difficulty: Flat and easy
• Click here for a trail guide.
The most important part of visiting Whiskeytown is that we need to practice responsible dog ownership. By following the leash requirements, picking up after your dog, 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.
Help us keep this trail beautiful and dog-friendly:
• Always follow the posted rules as they may have changed
• Respect and protect wildlife and habitats
• Pack in and pack out, leaving only paw prints
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