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Burney Falls

Burney, California

based on 18 reviews



0.97 miles

Elevation Gain

82 ft

Route Type



Added by Lisa Bao

Burney Falls is a loop trail located in McArthur-Burney State Park northeast of Redding, CA, in Shasta County. Theodore Roosevelt referred to Burney Falls as the “eighth wonder of the world."

Burney Falls can be seen right from the parking area, but this scenic loop is a great hike for all levels of hiking ability. Heading out on this trail will take you to the base of this 129 foot tall waterfall. 

The Hike

Burney Falls has a 1.3 mile loop trail that takes approximately 30 minutes to hike (but potentially longer depending on how long you stop to take photos). Starting from the parking area, head northwest on the trail until you cross the river at the Rainbow Footbridge. From here, head south along the PCT until you reach a footbridge which will take you back across the river and to the parking area where you started the loop. 

Photographing the Falls

It's great to get a photo (or several) with whatever you have: phone, film camera, DSLR, etc. If you want to photograph Burney Falls up close, know that the spray coming off the falls is pretty intense—make sure you have a towel available to wipe off the lens between your shots. Best time to shoot is sunrise, sunset, and at night. For slow shutter shots you want less light so the falls aren't blown out. Also adding a polarized filter to your lens will help the pictures turn out better.


Looking for an overview of the camping and trail areas, take a look at the park map. From the side bar of the McArthur-Burney Falls State Park page, you can make cabin or campground reservations if you'd like to make an overnight trip or visit ReserveCalfironia.com

Key Questions

  • Can I swim in Burney Falls? You can, but you may not want to. Even on warm days, the water is around 42 degrees fahrenheit. 
  • Is there a cost to visit the falls? Day use fees for McArthur-Burney Falls are $8 to $10.
  • Dogs are not allowed on the trails (only paved roads and campgrounds)
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I just camped by Burney Falls and it was amazing, the beautiful colors of autumn were already beaming but the weather was warm. I was surprised by how cool it was down by the water, the temperature change was almost instant!

Super easy hike with a Beautiful view of some amazing waterfalls! And I suggest you do not cross the fence for an epic photo, you will get yelled at by an official. I know from experience haha

Nice falls and campground

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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