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Boulder Creek Falls Trail, CA

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Guide 3 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CA > Northern
5 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,293 feet
Elevation Gain 977 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,007 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.86
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
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5  2017-04-22 lojones5
4  2017-01-15 lojones5
9  2016-10-22 lojones5
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Co-Author lojones5
co-author avatarGuides 22
Routes 153
Photos 470
Trips 94 map (470 Miles)
Age 26 Male Gender
Location Redding, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Nov, Oct → Any
Sun  5:52am - 6:18pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Falls and Ladybugs
by HAZ_Hikebot & lojones5

The first mile of the trail follows a wide, exposed logging road through a thicket of white leaf manzanita, knobcone pine, redbud, wild grape and poison oak. Near the creek this brushland transitions into a forest of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and canyon live oak.

Look for ladybugs in a clearing just before the first creek crossing. Thousands have been seen next to the side of the trail on sunny days in fall, winter and early spring.

The trail follows the creek for the next half mile, crossing Boulder Creek and a seasonal creek four times. Bracken and sword ferns abound along the creek. Just past the third crossing, on both sides of the trail, are the deteriorating foundations of a residence last occupied in the 1960s. A little farther on, the trail forks; take the right fork. You will come to a nice stand of big leaf maples as you approach the final crossing.

Approaching the falls, the trail drops down into a cool watershed.
The creek leading from the falls is visible, crossing the road. The sign for the short side trail to the falls will be on your left. Follow the steps up the hill to a rocky vantage point where the main falls
can be seen. The falls directly ahead are 81 feet tall with an additonal 28 feet of cataracts above. Plants that flourish in this riparian habitat are tiger lily, solomon seal and chain fern.

The trail continues on to Mill Creek Road. Turn right and walk to Carr Powerhouse, 1.7 miles distant. Or, return the way you came

Watch for poison oak, and be careful crossing slippery boulders.

Boulder Creek cuts through Copley greenstone, a Devonian metamorphic rock of near- shore oceanic origin formed about 400 million years ago. It ranges in color from dull orange and light brown (weathered) to dark blue-green. Along the trail and in the creek bed you will see numerous areas where the greenstone is capped with granitic boulders. These are debris flows from the Shasta Bally batholith (Cretaceous, 133 million years) that from time to time have washed down the mountain into the creek valley. Several hundred yards above the falls, a particularly good example of this formation may be seen. Across Mill Creek Road at the upper trailhead is a majestic ravine that follows the Hoadley fault through much of the park. The Hoadley is an inactive extensional fault, slightly older than the Shasta Bally Batholith.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2016-10-22 HAZ_Hikebot & lojones5
  • Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 1
    guide related
    Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 1
  • Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 2
    guide related
    Boulder Creek Falls Trail - 2

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Boulder Creek Falls Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
This was our second attempt to reach Boulder Creek Falls this year, and I'm happy to say that we made it this time! There are three major creek crossings that require walking through fast flowing water, and last time there was a bit too much to safely cross. The water was about up a little past my knees this time, so we were able to cross by carefully walking through. There was a running event going on with people running up to 50K to all the falls around Whiskeytown Lake, so we passed several runners during the hike--they would hardly slow down to cross the creeks! The falls are about as I remembered it from last year, but with more water. Overall it was a great hike, and I'm glad to have finally reached the falls this year.
Boulder Creek Falls Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
After all the rain here, the creeks were flowing with lots of water. This makes for beautiful scenery and full waterfalls, but unfortunately this also means river crossings are not as easy. We made it across the first crossing by crawling across a wet and slippery log, but unfortunately the next crossing looked even more difficult and we weren't prepared to walk across the creek. We turned around the way we came, enjoyed seeing the rivers, and took a short drive to the easily accessible Crystal Creek Falls [ description ] instead so we still got to see some fantastic falls.
Boulder Creek Falls Trail
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Boulder Creek Falls Trail
The hike was gorgeous with perfect weather plenty of fall foliage along the entire trail. I came across chainfern and big leaf maple trees, among plenty of other plants (including poison oak). The waterfall was tucked away just off the main trail, and had a bench facing it where I ate lunch. On my hike back, I noticed hundreds of ladybugs--I must have walked right through them on my way there just before the first creek crossing.

Permit $$

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center drive 7 miles west on Hwy 299. Turn left at the Carr Powerhouse, and follow the road all the way past the powerhouse itself. When the paved road ends take a sharp left onto South Shore Drive. Continue 2.7 miles to the trailhead which is located on the right side of the road. Limited parking is available across the road.

The same trailhead can also be approached from Kennedy Memorial Drive. From the dam, drive west 4.3 miles. Just before the gate at Dry Creek Group Campground, turn left. Follow South Shore Drive 2.7 miles to the trailhead.
page created by lojones5 on Oct 22 2016 9:22 pm
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