Place: Whiskeytown Falls, Redding, California
Trailhead Coordinates: 40.638238, -122.676109
Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Trail usage requires fee
After our wintery spring visit to Manzanita Lake we headed down to Redding for the night. The rain has stopped and the sky was clearing up. By morning there was no sign for yesterday's rain, except that the air was much cleaner. So right after breakfast we set out east on CA-299 to Whiskeytown Falls.
We wanted to go there last year but ended up being rained on and hiking Crystal Falls instead. Now we were having another opportunity.
The parking lot is small, but we arrived early enough to find a parking spot. Just ahead of us there was a happy group of girl scouts from Redding and we trailed after them. They were singing quite loudly and cheerfully. While us adult quails were a bit worried that the loud singing will scare away all the wildlife, the elder chika joined them in happy sing-song.
|Bicolor Lupine (Lupinus bicolor) near the trailhead|
|Red isn't just a fall color. Live Oak's new spring growth.|
|Kellogg's Monkeyflower (Mimulus kellogii)|
The girl scout had a break and with some effort we managed to convince the elder chika to separate from her new friends and go on.
|Sticky Cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa)|
|Woodland Star (Trientalis latifolia)|
|Crystal Creek crossing|
|Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii).|
But flowers were plenty.
And then ...
|Whiskeytown Falls, lower portion|
In 2003, after decades of rumors of a large waterfall hidden in the forest, a Whiskeytown National Recreation Area ranger finally located Whiskeytown Falls. In 2005, after the trail has been constructed, this magnificent waterfall was opened to the public. It isn't a true waterfall, but a cascade. An impressive one, to be sure. at 122 meters length and a curve, it is nearly impossible to get it all in one shot.
|Darmera peltata, above Whiskeytown Falls|
|Indian Warrior (Pedicularis densiflora)|
|Broadleaf Sronecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)|
|Crystal Creek below the waterfall|
The ranger also suggested we did some more hiking near the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area headquarters. There was an active osprey's nest there, he said. Eventually we said goodby (not before I asked what were those trees with the delicate leaf-vein pattern), and headed down the trail.
|Miners Dogwood (Cornus sessilis)|
I did photograph the tree, though. Just in case.
The way down was much faster. The downgrade, and also that I already photographed all the flowers on the way up.
|Feathery Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum racemosum)|
|Small Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophilla heterophylla)|
We did it quite quickly. All and all, the trail took us about three hours, including the lengthy conversation we had with the ranger by the waterfall. We almost took his advice to look for the osprey's nest but the chikas started complaining they were hungry so we drove back to town for lunch. I did make Papa Quail pull over for a patch of iris I detected by the roadside.
But ... we still had time for one more hike. A very surprising hike, at the Sacramento River Bend.
Many thanks to members of the California Native Plants Society for their help in identifying plants and the fungus!