NPS - National Park Service

02/14/2020 | Press release | Archived content

James K. Carr Trail to Whiskeytown Falls Reopened to the Public

News Release Date:
February 14, 2020

Contact: Laura Ostmann, (530) 242-3404

The staff of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area would like to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day by announcing that the much-loved and popular James K. Carr Trail to Whiskeytown Falls will open at 9:00 AM on February 14.

Closed since the 2018 Carr Fire, this 1.7-mile section of trail received substantial damage from the historic fire. A footbridge burned, and the trail itself became dangerously unstable and eroded. Whiskeytown National Recreation Area staff, most notably the trail crew, worked hard over many months to restore the trail. Wood for the footbridge was carried in and the bridge was constructed, eroded sections of trail were re-stabilized, three retaining rock walls were built, signage was replaced, and extensive brushing was completed. Additionally, contract work replaced an extensive section of guardrail, and removed numerous hazard trees along Crystal Creek Road.

As you plan your return to Whiskeytown Falls, please expect changes in the post-Carr Fire environment. Superintendent Josh Hoines stated, 'The trail to Whiskeytown Falls is our most popular trail, and we are excited to welcome everyone back, but please remain cautious and vigilant about personal safety.' Stay alert for falling trees, especially on windy days, and obey all closures. If a significant storm is forecast for the area, Crystal Creek Road and the trails it accesses may temporarily close for safety.

Located in the western section of Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, the trailhead for the James K. Carr Trail is on Crystal Creek Road, approximately four miles south of Highway 299. The strenuous trail is 3.4-miles roundtrip, has an elevation gain of 520 feet, and leads through rugged forested terrain to the park's tallest waterfall.

The trail officially opened in 2006 and is named in honor of Redding resident James K. Carr (1914-1980), a member of the John F. Kennedy administration and a major player in the establishment of the national recreation area.

With the opening of this trail to Whiskeytown Falls, the public can now access two of the park's four major waterfalls: Crystal Creek Falls, and Whiskeytown Falls. The trails to Brandy Creek Falls, and to Boulder Creek Falls, on the south side of the park, remain closed due persistent threat from debris flow.