• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Winter

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    5 Miles

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
River
Waterfall
Wildflowers

This a pretty hike in the Central Valley foothills that ends with views of the upper and lower Shingle Falls (Also called Fairy Falls).

Start at the Fairy Falls trailhead in Spenceville Wildlife Area Field Trial Grounds in Penn Valley (careful on the bumpy roads in). From the parking lot, cross a small bridge and make a right onto a dirt road. After about a mile you will follow the road to the right and continue through the gate. There will be a few signs to guide you along the way. Continue following the path, past a cattle guard, until you come to a spot where three trails split from the main road. There are signs to guide you, but you can take any of the trails to get to the falls as they form a loop. The one on the left takes you to the upper falls first, the middle goes to the lower falls, and the path on the right will take you along the river first. There is a short fence on the edge of the upper falls but there is river access along the path as well. There are plenty of great spots by the water to stop for a picnic too! The trail winds through grassy hills where there are plenty of cattle grazing so watch out for cow pies along the way. This trail is best to hike in the spring when the temperatures are cooler, wildflowers are blooming, and there is a lot of water at the falls.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

This was well worth getting up early for. Beat the crowd. Gorgeous weather, no crowds, bright sunny and peacefully quiet. Nice wide path, very little climb until the very end near the falls. Quite a bit of military history here I'd like to read up on.

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

Steady long hike that ends with a little uphill push. In summer months, May to September make sure to go early, the day gets hot fast. Pack in a picnic. Great adventure for kids and adults.

5 months ago
5 months ago

Nice short hike, some elevation, not much, nice and cool in January.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

We went on New Year's Day, took about 2 hours total. The view at the end is amazing!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

This place is absolutely beautiful, peacefully quiet and worth the hike if you're up for it. For me, the body aches will be killing me and my feet are screaming in pain right now as I just did this hike earlier today. The waterfalls/swimming holes are very serene like but getting there will take some time but it's worth it. I would do this hike again - if I can. Lol

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Pretty neat place! The hike to the falls is kinda long but not bad. There's a cool little watering hole that's great for swimming in along the way, and when you're at the top of the waterfall (if you're brave), you can stand right up on the spot where the water flows over the edge.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Very fun hike I did with my dogs. Trail was well maintained and falls were still running in May. The upper falls has a few places one can relax and go for a swim. Loved it and so did my dogs :)

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Annelise Del Rio

An Ohio native now living in California and traveling everywhere in between. I'm a grad student and spend most of my free time exploring outdoors.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

8 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves