Name of Waterfall

Crystal Creek Falls


In Redding, follow Highway 299 west towards Eureka for 16 miles, then turn left onto Crystal Creek Road (signed for Whiskeytown Falls). After two miles, turn left into the parking lot for the Crystal Creek picnic area at a former quarry site. From the parking lot, follow the gated gravel road along Crystal Creek for a little more than one-third of a mile to the overlook of the falls. User paths drop down to the pool at its base, which serves as an excellent (albeit smallish) swimming hole in the summer.Crystal Creek Falls is the most easily accessed of the handful of waterfalls found within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, but unlike the rest of the waterfalls in Whiskeytown, Crystal Creek Falls is not entirely natural. In the 1920s when the Central Valley Project created Whiskeytown, Trinity and Shasta Reservoirs, one component to the system was to divert water from the Trinity River into Whiskeytown Lake via a 17-mile tunnel which ends at the Carr Powerhouse at the inlet of Whiskeytown Lake. When the powerhouse needs to undergo maintenance, the excess volume of water in the tunnel is drained into Crystal Creek at a release valve adjacent to Crystal Creek Falls. To accommodate the release facility, Crystal Creek was "moved" about 50 feet to the east of its natural channel, which created the falls (though there may have been a natural waterfall in its original position as well).

Other Names




IWC Rating (International Waterfall Classification)


Total Height (ft)


Number of Drops


Average Width


Average High Volume (Cubic ft per second)

35 cfs (6 months)

Average Low Volume (Cubic ft per second)

15 cfs (6 months)


45 degrees

Run (ft)


Watershed or Feeder Stream

Sacramento River Crystal Creek