Because the trail is paved, you can access this waterfall anytime. Just know that it will be cold in the winter.
On Leash Only
A pass is required. You can purchase a $10 weekly pass or, if you live in the area or plan to visit often, you can purchase an annual pass for $40. The annual pass is also valid at Lassen Volcanic National Park just an hour away. Day-use passes are not available.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can purchase a lifetime pass for $10.
Located in California’s Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, Crystal Creek Falls is an ADA accessible trail offering waterfalls, meandering streams, and a picnic area.
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is a popular destination for outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing, camping, and hiking. The park offers ranger-lead programs including kayak tours, day hikes, gold panning expeditions, and evening programs exploring the night skies. For history buffs, Tower House Historic District is located in the park and features several historic sites including the Camden House, the Camden Bridge (one of the area’s first pedestrian bridges), and a gold mine. A Youth Ranger Program is available for children who want to earn badges while learning about nature, outdoor safety, and exploring all the wonders the park has to offer.
What Makes It Great
Crystal Creek Falls is a short and sweet 0.5 mile trail located just south of the James K. Carr Trail (Whiskeytown Falls). There is a small parking area at the trailhead complete with restrooms. Offering panoramic mountain views, the paved trail is wide and level throughout. This is a great alternative for those who are unable to make the moderately difficult James K. Carr Trail.
Although the trail is surrounded by lush trees and vegetation, the path is fully exposed to the sun so a hat and sunblock is recommended for those completing this hike in the spring and summer. The weather can be in the 100s in the summer so be sure to bring plenty of water.
About five minutes into the trail hikers will arrive at a spacious picnic area complete with four tables and two barbecue grills. The Crystal Creek Falls are just two minutes from the picnic area. During the winter, the falls are fast and full. During the late spring and summer, the falls are slower and a small swimming hole is available at the base of the falls. This is a very popular spot among the locals so arriving early is recommended for those who plan to spend the day here.
Who is Going to Love It
The Crystal Creek Falls Trail used to be a dirt road, but has since been paved to better accommodate visitors of all calibers. The trail is level, wide, and ADA accessible making this a great hike everyone.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Starting at Whiskeytown Visitor Center, turn left onto CA-299 W for 8.4 miles. Make a left onto Crystal Creek Rd and drive 3.7 miles. There will be a sign for Crystal Creek Fall on the left. Turn left at the sign and drive for about 2 minutes until arriving at the parking area complete with restrooms.
A pass is required. Visitors can purchase a $10 weekly pass or an annual pass for $40that is also valid at Lassen Volcanic National Park just an hour away.
U.S.citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can purchase a lifetime pass for$10. Dogs are allowed on a leash.