Mill Creek Trail

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Trail Type:

Counties Trail is in:


  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
  • Length: 6.5 miles one way to Crystal Creek Road
  • Elevation: 1,250 to 1,600 feet
  • This trail connects to Clear Creek Vista Trail, Camden Water Ditch Trail and the Whiskeytown Falls Trail

Trailhead Directions

Starting at the Whiskeytown Visitor Center, drive west on Highway 299 to the Tower House Historic District parking lot, approximately 8.0 miles. At the end of the parking lot follow the paved trail over the Clear Creek footbridge and then turn left. Walk along the white fence and cross over the next bridge. Follow the dirt road to the left past the Tenant Farmhouse and barn. Continue past the El Dorado Mine site where the Mill Creek trailhead marker is located.

Trail Description

The Tenant Farmhouse, the El Dorado Mine and Stamp Mill are historic structures on the Mill Creek Trail. The Stamp Mill housed an apparatus in which rock was crushed by descending pestles known as “stamps.” The mill was operated by steam power. Mercury was used to separate the gold from the crushed rock through a process called amalgamation. The technique is no longer used in the United States, as mercury has been found hazardous to human health.

Continue on the trail along Mill Creek. Pass both branches of the Clear Creek Vista Trail which veers to the left across Mill Creek and up the hill. The trail crosses the creek approximately 20 times. Footing is often slippery. The Mill Creek Trail ascends the drainage, paralleling the creek on either side. The trail then leaves the drainage, ascends a ridge line and finally intersects with a dirt road. To continue to Crystal Creek Road, turn right onto the dirt road. After turning right, walk until crossing the bridge signed “Mill Creek”. Follow this old road as it ascends the hill, passing two springs. The trail continues up several switchbacks to a pass, and through a locked gate. The trail then descends steeply to the east fork of Crystal Creek. Cross the creek.

After the crossing, continue up a short grade. The path levels out for a short stretch. Pass the turnoff for Whiskeytown Falls. The path descends; cross the simple plank bridge on the west fork of Clear Creek. Follow the trail up a short but steep section until reaching the trailhead parking lot on Crystal Creek Road. This trailhead is located 3.5 miles from Highway 299.


  • Trail Measurement: 6.5 Miles
  • Compass Latitude: 415502N
  • Compass Longitude: 1201359W
  • Numeric Latitude: 41.9171115
  • Numeric Longitude: -120.2330085
  • Elevation in Meters: 1917
  • Elevation in Feet: 6289

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References and More Info

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