Brandy Creek Falls at Whiskeytown


Hiking is one of the best ways for city-dwellers to find adventure without going too far. With over 400 National Parks in the nation, it isn’t too hard to find one near you. Not to mention, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by working out while you have fun!

On our drive back down from Portland, we stopped by Redding to rest and recharge for the last stretch home. The next morning, I was itching to explore the area before starting our drive so we fueled up with donuts from Voodoo and grabbed a hot cup of coffee to enjoy a much-needed hike to Brandy Creek Falls at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

I did my research the night before, browsing through its website was a breeze. The trails are sorted by their intensity level and each trail is linked to an informative PDF you can download onto your phone for offline access. This was extremely helpful to understand what to expect along the hike and how to get to the trail head through an unmarked area on our GPS.

We drove about 45 minutes west of Redding, through the winding roads to discover the Brandy Creek Trail. It was a little confusing to find the trail head as there were so many different signs indicating “Brandy Creek Falls,” but we followed the instructions on the info sheet to find our way.

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I was very surprised to see patches of snow along the trail, making it one of the most scenic hikes I’ve taken in California (Burney Falls comes close). I was also happy about testing out my new waterproof hiking boots from Vasque because it kept my feet warm and comfortable while providing great traction, even while I climbed around wet rocks and through snow covered tracks. 

I don’t remember how long we spent exploring the trail, but we took our time trekking along the creek and up towards the series of waterfalls. The trail was free of crowds making it an ideal situation for lots of undisturbed photo opportunities. I enjoyed the crisp, fresh air and the sound of snow crunching under my feet. 

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