Beginning Friday, April 1, hikers, campers, mountain bikers, trail runners, and horseback riders will be able to access several areas of the park for the first time since the Carr Fire of 2018.
“The restoration and reopening of several trails and campgrounds represent the culmination of massive amounts of hard work by Whiskeytown employees and partners,” notes Park Superintendent Josh Hoines. “I’m incredibly proud of this dedicated team and I am also incredibly excited to welcome visitors back into these areas.”
Areas that reopen Friday morning, April 1st, include the following…
• Boulder Creek Trail to Boulder Creek Falls (from top of Mill Creek Road) – this 1.1 mile trail (2.2 miles roundtrip) climbs 150 feet and ends at the picturesque waterfall. Access the trail from the top of Mill Creek Road.
• Boulder Creek Trail to Boulder Creek Falls (from South Shore Drive) – this 2.7 mile trail (5.4 miles roundtrip) climbs 1,000 feet and fords the stream three times on its way to Boulder Creek Falls.
• Brandy Creek Trail (from Brandy Creek Beach to Brandy Creek Falls Trailhead) – this trail parallels the Brandy Creek corridor through mixed habitat. The trail includes some short sections of the Brandy Creek Road. Note that the trail to Brandy Creek Falls remains temporarily closed due to significant ongoing repair work from severe damage as a result of the Carr fire.
• Papoose Pass Trail – this backcountry trail travels 4.8 miles one way (9.6 miles roundtrip) connecting Sheep Camp with Boulder Creek Trail and Boulder Creek Backcountry Campground. Total elevation change one way is 900 feet. Tack on one additional mile and 100 feet elevation to reach Boulder Creek Falls.
• Sheep Camp Primitive Campground – this shaded, picturesque tent campground is situated along Brandy Creek at the base of Shasta Bally. Each site includes a picnic table, bear locker, and campfire ring. There is a vault toilet.
• Brandy Creek Primitive Campground – this tent campground is located on a dry hillside above Brandy Creek. Sites include a picnic table, food locker, campfire ring, and abundant sunshine. There is a vault toilet.
• Brandy Creek Road – this narrow, winding, gravel roadway can be used for recreation and for accessing Sheep Camp and Brandy Creek primitive campgrounds. Drive slowly and honk when approaching blind curves.
• Mill Creek Road – this steep, narrow, winding, gravel roadway can be used for recreation and for accessing the easier Boulder Creek Trail to Boulder Creek Falls. Drive slowly and honk when approaching blind curves.
In 2018, the Carr Fire blazed through the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, burning approximately 90 percent of the popular Northern California park. While many of the regions that were impacted have been able to open in the years since, the specific section of Boulder Creek Falls and Brandy Creek Falls remained dangerous for visitors. Brandy Creek Falls still remains closed today.
To spotlight trail restoration work and welcome visitors back into these reopened areas, a series of ranger-led hikes and several child and family friendly interpretive programs are scheduled for Shasta County Spring Break Week from April 9th to 17th. A more formal announcement will be made about these programs next week.
Whiskeytown reminds visitors heading into the reopened areas that post-fire hazards still exist. Specifically, the park recommends against recreating during windy days, as hazard trees remain a threat. Whiskeytown also reminds visitors to keep out of closed areas such as the Brandy Creek Falls Trail, where significant trail washouts and hazards remain.