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Crystal Creek Falls – Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Crystal Creek Falls Whiskeytown is the perfect place for a quick and easy waterfall hike. Located right outside the city of Redding in Northern California.

Crystal Creek Falls is a manmade waterfall that is easily accessible. The walk to the falls is only a short walk down a paved path. 

Crystal Creek Falls Whiskeytown


  • Crystal Creek Falls is about 1/3 mile from the parking area
  • $25 per vehicle (unless you have a national park pass)
  • ADA Accesible
  • Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash


Heading west on CA-299/Eureka Way you will continue for about 14 miles until you reach Crystal Creek Rd.

If you don’t have national park pass you will want to first stop at the Whiskeytown visitor center or purchase your pass online – the cost is $25 per vehicle and is good for 7 days.

Once you reach Crystal Creek Road you will turn left.

You will pass over a small bridge and then start on a paved road which is about 4 miles up to the trail head.

crystal creek falls bridge

Continue down the paved road until you see the Whiskeytown Falls / Crystal creek falls sign. 

crystal creek falls sign

Right after you pass the sign turn left onto the gravel road that leads to the trailhead parking lot. 

parking area in whiskytown national recreation area

This will dead end right to the trail head parking lot. The parking area is nice and there is even a bathroom. 

parking lot whiskeytown

The trail head begins at the locked gate and you can clearly see the paved pathway. 

trail head crystal creek falls

Go past the gate and you will begin to see the the trail is a paved road. This continues all the way until you reach the lower Crystal Creek Falls.

You won’t even have to get off the paved road to view the falls. 

trail leading to lower crystal creek fall

After about 1/3 mile you will reach a small picnic area with a bbq and some picnic benches.

When you reach this spot you are almost to the falls. 

picnic area right before crystal creek falls

After the picnic area you can go to the small trail to the left that is not paved to get down to the falls. 

crystal creek falls
bottom of the lower crystal creek fall

Or you can continue on the paved trail to see the falls right from the main road. 

crystal creek falls

You can see below that there is a large building. This is the diversion gate house.

If you want to go to upper Clear Creek Falls you can continue down an unpaved dirt trail right past the gate house.

We didn’t go the the upper falls, but we do plan on making a trip back soon. 

whiskytown lake gate house

Clear Creek Falls is the perfect adventure if you are looking for something quick and easy accessible for almost anyone.

Just because its easy to get to doesn’t mean that it is any less beautiful.

crystal creek whiskeytown national recreation area

Next time I go back I am plaining on hiking the Wiskytown Falls as well.

It was closed down when we went in November of 2018 due to the Carr fire that had damaged the trail.

Here is a video all about Crystal Creek Falls:

There are actually a total of four waterfalls in the Whiskytown Lake area; Whiskytown Falls, Bolder Creek Falls, Brandy Creek Falls, and Crystal Creek Falls.

Want more about all the falls? Click here to visit Waterfalls of Whiskeytown National Park page. They keep it updated with important visitor information.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Clear Creek Falls Whiskeytown. Let me know how you like it!

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