Gush-Worthy: Whiskeytown Waterfalls

Take a hike and get better acquainted with these glorious gushers.

LIKE SHARK WEEK, Waterfall Week is kind of a major Thing, with a capital T, in those places where waterfalls congregate. There aren't too many more similarities between the two, beyond the shared element of H20 -- sharks need it, and waterfalls are made of it -- but it is a nice thing when a natural superstar gets a week-long spotlight. Sharks get their Shark Week on television, but waterfalls find their spotlights around the Golden State come springtime. Yosemite is highlighting a waterfall each day ahead of Easter Sunday (via Facebook, just so you know), while Whiskeytown, an area rich in waterfall-o-sity, puts the emphasis on its gushers in April. There are the inaugural Whiskeytown Waterfall Races, which offer "participants a chance to see as many of the falls as possible in one beautiful trail run." That sounds downright epic, if running is your bag, and spying sparkly falling agua is something you count as one of your favorite sights. But you can also make a spring date with the waterfalls, and do them at your own pace, depending on if you prefer your hikes easy, moderate, or more challenging. Yep, we used the word "gushers" before because it isn't hard to gush over these spectacular beauties. So plan your Redding-close trip and make a date to hoof it by...

CRYSTAL CREEK FALLS, which is on the "easy hike" list (you'll only need to cover about a third of a mile to reach it). It's described as "the only 'man-made' waterfall in the park," so that might scratch a quirky itch for you, if you like marking off the "onlys" on your adventures. Brandy Creek Falls Trail is classified as a moderate hike, at three miles round-trip (there are upper and lower falls here, if that's something you especially love seeing). And the James K. Carr Trail, which leads to Whiskeytown Falls, is a moderate to difficult trek. (Conditions can be both "misty" and "slippery.") April into May is some prime time to see these wonders, whether your run the course during Waterfall Week or make another week on the calendar your own personal Waterfall Week. Either way, you win, because gravity impacting water gushing over a ledge of some sort is flat-out neato, and it doesn't matter how many times you witness it. Neato and gush-worthy, too.

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