Whiskeytown Waterfalls Races

April ?, 2018 @ Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Registration will open sometime this fall.

Click here for some Pictures.  More on our FB page.  More to come!

2017’s version went great: the historic rains meant the falls were roaring and the creeks were overflowing.  The only real mistake we made was not emphasizing how really really hard this course is (both 30K and 50K).  Besides the many creek crossings, there’s a bit of elevation gain

(the 30K omits miles 18-30 of the above profile).

This is not a 50K (OK, closer to 54K) for the faint of leg. There are probably harder 30K and 50K trail runs but this is definitely not just a stroll in the park. If you want something a lot more “reasonable”, check out our Sac River Trail Marathon and 55K in October. We aren’t trying to make this one hard, we just set out to find a way to get you to all four named waterfalls in (about) 50K and we had to take what the mountains gave us. So cinch up your big girl running shorts and come join us: just don’t expect any “EASY” buttons.

Refund and Deferral Policy: If you cannot make it, you may email us up to 10 days prior to the race and request a deferral of your registration fees to any other STR race in the following 13 months.  9 days or less prior to the race you can receive 50% credit toward a future race.  No refunds.


Four Falls will visit all four of Whiskeytown’s major waterfalls.

IMG_0236Boulder Creek Falls (lower half)

IMG_2218Whiskeytown Falls (lower third)

IMG_2263Crystal Creek Falls (lower half)

Brandy Creek Falls (lower half)
(all of the falls have multiple tiers that do not all show up in any one photo)

Three Falls will visit all except Brandy Creek Falls, thus reducing the distance by 12 miles.  The first half is mostly uphill, the second half is mostly downhill.

There will be fully-stocked* aid stations at Crystal Creek Campground (Miles 6 & 8, open 9:30-12:30), the “Y” (where the Boulder Creek trail meets the Mill Creek trail) (mile 14, open 10:30-2:00), and Sheep Camp (50K only, miles 20 & 25, open 11:15-3:15).
*Whiskeytown Park rules prohibit us from giving out sports gels. You may bring your own.

Your bib number will be recorded at each of the waterfalls.  If you want a picture of yourself at each waterfall, please carry a camera or cell phone with camera and ask the volunteers at each waterfall to take your picture with your camera.  We encourage you to do so!

The average historical temperature for this date for Whiskeytown is a high of 72º and a low of 47º with an average of 1/8″ of rain.  Your Weather May Vary.

T-shirts may be purchased for $10 (below cost) when you sign up online or at the race (or packet pickup). T-shirts for 2017 will be the same style and color as 2016:


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Course Map and Description 

(red = 30K, red + green = 50K)
(10K goes up Mill Creek Road (orange) and then to Boulder Creek Falls & back)

The 30K course is marked with red ink.  The 50K course includes all of the 30K course plus the out-and-back to Brandy Creek Falls, shown in green.  Aid Stations and waterfalls are circled in blue.  On both courses the section to the left (west) of the Mill Creek Trail is a T-shaped out and back, you will go to Whiskeytown Falls first and Crystal Creek Falls second before returning back toward Mill Creek).

On race day the courses (and especially all junctions) will be clearly marked and, where needed, signed.

“That was a tough course from all the vert, but I loved all the river crossings!  River crossings like that are so rare in races, and they give the event a wild appeal.  Well done designing that course!”  Gerad Dean

All races start at the picnic area by the Carr Powerhouse.  The 30K and 50K go west on the paved road for 1/4 mile to the Clear Creek Vista Trail, then up the Mill Creek Trail, over to the aid station at the Crystal Creek Campground via the (signed but not on the map) Crystal Creek Trail, then to Crystal Creek Falls, back to Crystal Creek Campground, over to Whiskeytown Falls, then to the Y aid station via the Crystal Creek Trail and the upper portion of the Mill Creek Trail.  Down 1 mile to Boulder Creek Falls and another 0.7 miles to the Papoose Trail Junction.  There the 50K runners go east (right) on the Papoose Trail while 30K runners continue south (left) on the Boulder Creek Trail to the power line road and back to the start/finish.

(Mill Creek Trail)

50K runners follow the Papoose Trail for 4.5 miles (first half uphill, second half downhill) to the aid station at Sheep Camp (mile 20).  From Sheep Camp they follow the Brandy Creek Falls uphill to the Falls.  The return to Sheep Camp goes via the Rich Gulch trail (downhill after the first 1/4 mile) and back to Sheep Camp (mile 25).  Then steeply up Shasta Bally Road for 1 mile, right to Papoose Pass and downhill for 2.5 miles back to the Boulder Creek trail where you head north and rejoin the 30K course to the finish (3 1/3 miles).

30K and 50K runners: Your feet WILL get wet.

The 10K goes 2+ miles up the moderately steep dirt Mill Creek Road to the Y, then down 1 mile on Boulder Creek Falls trail to Boulder Creek Falls and then back the same way.

Crystal Creek near Whiskeytown Falls – there’s a shallow 15′ wide place to wade across if you prefer.

Crystal Creek crossing by aid station (there will be a rope and helper), The creek is here is generally about 30″ deep at its deepest point.

Camping and showers will be available at Oak Bottom Marina, a 10 minute drive away from the start.  The nearest motels are in Redding, allow approximately 30 minutes driving time from Redding to the starting area at Carr Powerhouse, Whiskeytown.

That’s the RD in the middle of the next pic, I’m halfway down the last BIG hill on the 30K/50K course. The low spot behind me is the finish area. 1505996_763551160339867_927509929_n



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Abby Clester: “I did my first official 50k! This course was crazy tough but fun. Pushed my mental and physical capabilities. I got to see all 4 waterfalls in one day. There was so much beauty to behold.”

Laurie Pearce Price: “The 10k was the most enjoyable and challenging 10k I’ve done! Really beautiful, really unusual and fun race! Thanks so much!”