Burney Falls Travel Guide

Look at this breath-taking beauty!

This mesmerizing natural attraction is no other than Burney Falls, nestling within McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California. It is one of the oldest state parks in the state, positioned northeast of Redding and north of Sacramento, CA.

It may not the biggest or the tallest, but it’s certainly one of a kind. The Burney Falls flows year-round because its water comes from two sources―from the creek above and from the underground river that passes through the rocks behind.

Best Time to Visit

After a quick change I wanted to experience its forceful winds up close

Burney Falls is open year-round, whatever season, from sunrise to sunset. On a summer day, you’ll get a glimpse of Mr. Sun peeking through the trees down to the falls. Come autumn, the changing foliage complements the blue waters. And during winter, the entire place becomes a white paradise with a highlight of moving blue.

From April to October, the falls can get super crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. During our visit last September, a few people were spotted at around 10 AM. Come earlier or return after 4 PM to have the entire place to yourself.

Fees and Parking

The park entrance is $10.00 per vehicle per occupied space and $9.00 for seniors. But if you take the PCT trail, then you’ll save money. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the park, including the majestic Burney Falls and is a FREE way to enter.

Parking lots are positioned near the Falls Overlook area. The parking area may get jam-packed so better to come  earlier. Also, do not park along Highway 89 because your vehicle can get towed.

Going to the Falls

girl on burney falls trail

We did a 4-hour drive from Dixon, CA towards McArthur Burney State Park stayed in an Airbnb for two nights, which offers the best price and lodging selection in the area.

Even if you’re at the Falls Overlook, which is just 5 to 10 minutes from the parking lot, you’ll be at awe with the spectacular views of the falls. From the parking area, walk your way down to the winding yet paved path until you reach the base of the falls.

black woman on hike

If you want something more adventurous but still manageable, you can continue with the Burney Falls Loop Trail. Don’t worry because this is an easy trail around the perimeter of the falls. It is suitable for all skill levels. This 1.5-mile journey lasts around 15 to 20 minutes if walking briskly or two-hours if you make bench and photo stops as we did. It starts from the bottom of the falls, passing through the Rainbow Bridge, then above the waterfalls, and back to the foot of the falls.

girl on rainbow bridge

Immerse yourself with soothing nature charms and follow the interpretive signs scattered along the trail. Plus, there are lots of resting spots for everyone. Such a perfect way to gobble a snack and relax your legs!

Park Features and Amenities

Setting aside the gorgeous waterfalls views, the park itself is a perfect vacation spot for families. The McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is furnished with plenty of amenities, making it highly recommended for touring families and even backpackers.

The park is equipped with a visitor center that features a range of informative displays and hands-on activities. And if you’re traveling with your family, the camping area comes with RV sites, tent sites, and primitive sites. There are also cabins for a comfier stay while in the park, as well as restrooms, and showers.

Wandering Around the Park

Visitors will also love the charms surrounding the park, including Lake Britton and Burney Creek. Lake Britton is accessible, either by the Burney Creek Trail or by vehicle. Go fishing, swimming, or canoeing with your kids. Not only that, the lake is abounding with wildlife wonders such as bald eagles, osprey, black-tailed deer, and more.

McArthur Dining Experience

To enjoy a quick treat, grab some goodies from the parks onsite storefront. For sit down dining experience travel to McArthur, Ca restaurant, Crumbs. You can walk-in, but to ensure you don’t have to wait for 30min to an hour make a reservation. Crumb’s staff are exceptional and go out of their way to provide excellent service. The food selection is broad including Asian, American, and southern style food choices. We were happy with our meal and will be back.

Indeed, Burney Falls is a great vacation spot for anyone looking for nature, calmness and stimulating trails. Its a great reminder of the local treasures to be explored. You don’t have to travel to Hawaii or Bali to experience an epic waterfall after all. So what are you waiting for? Take a local road trip and explore!

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