McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is northeast of Redding in the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region, with forest and five miles of streamside and lake shoreline, including a portion of Lake Britton. The park's centerpiece is the 129-foot Burney Falls, which is not the highest or largest waterfall in the state, but possibly the most beautiful. Additional water comes from springs, joining to create a mist-filled basin. Burney Creek originates from the park's underground springs and flows to Lake Britton, getting larger along the way to the majestic falls. The park's landscape was created by volcanic activity as well as erosion from weather and streams. This volcanic region is surrounded by mountain peaks and is covered by black volcanic rock, or basalt. Created over a million years ago, the layered, porous basalt retains rainwater and snow melt, which forms a large underground reservoir. Within the park, the water emerges as springs at and above Burney Falls, where it flows at 100 million gallons every day. Burney Falls was named after pioneer settler Samuel Burney who lived in the area in the 1850s. The McArthurs were pioneer settlers who arrived in the late 1800s. Descendants were responsible for saving the waterfall and nearby land from development. They bought the property and gave it to the state as a gift in the 1920s. Temperatures range from average lows of 20 degrees in winter to 80 degrees or more during the drier summer months. Between November and March, rainfall averages nearly 28 inches, with December and January being the wettest. The Day Use Annual Pass is accepted at this park.
This was a short and very easy hike, which I was thankful for after hiking in Castle Crags the previous day. Lots of great views of Burney Creek and the falls themselves. We waded out into the waterfall pool to get some better pictures. The super cold water felt great on a hot August day. I would recommend this to anyone. The falls are stunning!
Majestic! these are the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. we drove 2 1/2 hours and it was well worth it. we arrived at 11:30 and there were not many people there, however, when we left at 3:30 it was very full. we also did the extra 1.5 miles to the lake but we're very disappointed as it was very nasty looking. we walked back to the falls to cool down and then headed home. next time we will take the falls trail loop and see what it has to offer.
The walk down n to the Falls is steap, but short and easy. On your way down you will have several vantage points. If you want to get crazy with it, scaling the steap trails to get the the base of the water is common. A few people were seen doing so. Otherwise the trail gives you at least 4 good vantage points, to see the waterfalls from. I've never seen anything quite like it. It's majestic.