Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crystal Creek Falls

I was going to start this post out with the story of when visiting Crystal Creek Falls my son slipped, and when his head hit a rock, it sounded like a watermelon being thrown on the ground. (Don't worry...he's ok, but had a massive headache!) But since my last post was about my other son falling in the camp fire, and another post before that about one of my children almost drowning, I think I'll skip it this time.  You might start to think some of my outing suggestions are not such a great idea, or question my parenting skills. Or both. Maybe I should rethink this blogging thing... 

The Stats:
Length: About 1/3 mile one way 
Elevation: Flat 
Difficulty Level: Easy 
Special Features: Two picnic tables and BBQ grills 

Sometimes the falls look like they do in my picture above.  And sometimes it looks like the picture below.  According to the National Parks Service it's because "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."  I suppose it also has to do with the time of year, and whether or not we have had much rain.

Crystal Creek Falls, Whiskeytown
Photo Cred: Heather Hockett (

Regardless of how much water is in the falls, you will be glad you went.  Not only are the falls beautiful but so is the creek area.  

We love to go on outings with our family, but we are not hikers or even very athletic.  Just average people, with average amount of stamina.  And the walk to Crystal Creek Falls is perfect.  Flat dirt road. My kind of "hike".  I think you could even push a wheelchair if you needed to.

My kids love climbing around on the rocks and up the creek.  But keep those kiddos close.  (See top of post for a reminder as to why...)

If you go in the heat of summer and the water flow isn't too powerful, you can swim in the pool at the base of the falls.  

Pro Tips: 
  • Off to the right is a cement building.  Behind the building is another small waterfall.
  • Bring a sack lunch and enjoy the picnic tables at the road or eat your lunch on the rocks near the falls.  We have done both.  
  • If you plan on climbing down to the falls be sure to wear shoes or athletic sandals with good traction.  While the walk on the road is easy, climbing down to the base is a bit slippery.  If you don't want to climb down the rocks, there is a great view from the road.