Brandy Creek Falls Trail
• Difficulty Level: Moderate
• Length: 3 miles round trip
• Elevation: 2,000 to 2,500 feet
• Connections: Rich Gulch Trail
This is a moderately steep trail leading uphill to the base of Brandy Creek Falls. The Brandy Creek Falls Trail takes the hiker along an old logging road, passing through the dense second-growth forest that is typical of this section of the park.
Approximately 0.5 miles into the hike, you will reach a bridge at the first of two small creeks. Large boulders and logs found at the creek crossing came from a dramatic debris flow that thundered down the mountain during the winter of 1997.
Approximately 0.75 miles into the hike, you will pass the Rich Gulch Trail on the left. From this point, the trail narrows and it is not recommended for horses and bicycles. The trail goes downhill to a small creek crossing. Soon you will enter a narrow box canyon and arrive at the vantage point for Lower Brandy Creek Falls.
The Upper Falls is still 0.25 miles ahead. You will arrive at a bridge made of wooden planks cabled in place. After crossing this bridge, go several hundred yards upstream and cross another plank bridge over the creek. You will be able to see the upper falls from here. Use the footholds chiseled out of the rock and grasp the iron railings to assist you in your ascent to the upper falls, past five pools and cascades. The upper falls split in the middle, creating two cascades that fl ow on either side of the 50-foot-high waterfall. Entering the upper chamber of the waterfall is like being in one of nature’s chapels.
Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center, drive south on Kennedy Memorial Drive towards Whiskeytown Dam. At the fork in the road, go to the right and cross over the dam. The paved road winds around the lake to the Brandy Creek Beach area. Turn left onto Brandy Creek Road, which will quickly become a good dirt road. Drive approximately 2.5 miles towards Sheep Camp. Along the way, you will see several signs on the right that say “Brandy Creek Trail;” do not stop at these sections of the trail along the lower portions of the creek.
At the Sheep Camp/Shasta Bally junction, keep to the left for another 0.75 mile until you reach an area where the main road is blocked by large boulders. Park in the area on the right. Walk up the blocked road for about 150 feet, looking for the Brandy Creek Falls Trail sign on the left.