Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (NRA) is increasing recreational access and will resume collecting entrance fees on Friday, May 22. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. The NPS is using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning Friday, May 22, the following lake-based facilities at Whiskeytown NRA will be open in advance of Memorial Day Weekend:
• Brandy Creek Beach (area hours are 9 am to 8 pm daily): the beach store, kayak rentals, the bath
house restrooms and roadside parking lot restrooms.
• Brandy Creek Marina: boat launch, beach and porta-potties.
• East Beach: vault toilet.
• Oak Bottom: the beach, launch ramp, restrooms, three stores (located at the beach, marina and
campground) and boat rentals at the marina.
• Whiskey Creek Launch Ramp: boat launch, restrooms, accessible pier and picnic area.
• The vault toilets near the shoreline at Dog Gulch and Third Pond will be open.
All trails in the park that were opened after the Carr Fire have remained open throughout the pandemic. The list of vault toilets that are now open at trailheads includes Whiskeytown Falls, Crystal Creek Falls, Horse Camp, Mount Shasta Mine Loop, and Davis Gulch.
The following areas and their restrooms will be open for day use only (area hours are 9 am to 8 pm daily):
• Dry Creek Group Campground,
• Whiskey Creek Group Picnic Area (boat-in access only),
• Carr Powerhouse and the Clear Creek Picnic Area.
Whiskeytown NRA will also resume charging entrance fees on Friday, May 22. Entrance passes will only be available for purchase online at Recreation.gov. Download your proof of payment for your digital pass onto your phone or print out a hard copy and place it on the dashboard of the vehicle that you are driving to the park. Visitors should be prepared to show proof of payment to a park ranger if requested.
Park rangers remain on duty to protect visitors and resources and uphold normal regulations. In addition, several officers from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will be patrolling the park to prevent underage drinking.
“Have fun and help keep your friends and family safe,” says superintendent Josh Hoines.
“Follow current health guidelines and remain vigilant to post-Carr Fire hazards, including hazardous trees, shallow water and steep drop-offs near shore. Please also pay special attention to small children near water, as there are no lifeguards.”
Additional Information on COVID-19, Whiskeytown NRA, and Public Access
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Whiskeytown NRA, our operational approach is to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public spaces and employee workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While the areas listed above are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19.
Additional Information on Whiskeytown NRA’s Entrance Fee Program
Entrance fees support a wide variety of projects that benefit our visitors. Recent projects include last month’s restructuring and paving of the Guardian Rock Trail to the Clear Creek Overlook to make it accessible. Another project included replacing the aging Oak Bottom Beach bath house with a new, modern facility. Projects details are featured on the park’s website.
The NPS offers several fee-free entrance days throughout the year. The next fee-free days include August 25: National Park Service Birthday; September 26: National Public Lands Day; November 11: Veterans Day.