Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls

MODERATE 114 reviews
Penn Valley, California
Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Penn Valley, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.1 miles 367 feet Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Also known as Ferry Falls; Hills, meadow, woods, & rocks lead to 100-foot waterfall. Formerly owned by Beale, this land was once home to a mock German town for training during WWII. Lots of protected wildlife within. Small shooting range 1/4 mile up Waldo Rd. before reaching the trailhead. This isn't the most difficult hike in the world, but it's one of my favorites. The terrain is extremely varied for such a small hike. You start at an abandoned mine at the site of an old town known as Spenceville. As you walk the dirt road, you see pass a creek and cross rolling hills. At the end of the road, you turn right and pass through a metal gate. Once past the gate, you climb a hill and emerge on a grassy meadow and a cattle crossing. At the edge of the meadow is a trail that leads through a wooded area and finally exits at a great swimming hole along the creek. After a refreshing dip, follow the trail along the creekside and up the hill. Climb over the rocks and you're at the overlook for Beale Falls. You can either walk around the other side of the hill and to the top of the falls, or walk the steep trail next to the protective fence. Either way, it's a great place to eat lunch.


9 days ago

walking

Me & my friends walked this trail this morning. 8/14/16. It wasn't that bad at all a couple hills here and there but nothing too hard! Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen for sure because there is a lot of open area where you are just directly in the sun no shade to be found for at least 15 minutes at a time! It was really nice to finally get to the waterfall we sat on the rocks and dipped our feet in the water for about 20 minutes.


15 days ago

hiking


17 days ago

Hiked this on 8/05/2016. Took way longer than expected. We were out there for about 5 hours, including about 20-30 minutes of swimming time. At the point in the road where the sign says upper and lower falls, we took the lower falls trail. It was beautiful, much more shaded than the hike up to that point. But there were some spots of climbing up and down over small rocks. Wished I hadn't forgotten my walking stick in the car! Finally made it to the falls, about a 2 hour hike from the car. Beautiful, with more water than expected at this time of the summer. My sister braved the huge boulders and climbed down to the swimming hole. Took her a long time! And she said getting back up was very challenging. On the way back we found the small swimming hole, the one we meant to head for in the first place! So at the fork, there's a 3rd option: the road on the very right. THAT one leads directly to the small swimming hole! We walked that one back and it was shaded and beautiful. Didn't bring enough water and should have had some food with us! But it was a fun day.


17 days ago

The drive was absolutely terrible, but the hike was surprisingly pleasant. Just bring a lot of water! :)


18 days ago

We did this hike on a day that was over 100 degrees. There is no shade, but man was the waterfall/mini pond at the mid-point worth it. This was my favorite NoCal hike so far. Trail head is hard to find but follow the directions in other comments!


26 days ago

hiking


1 month ago

hiking

Decent hike but go early to beat the heat there isn't much shade for half of the trail. Not much to look at until you reach the falls. We went on a Sunday so it got pretty busy late morning.


1 month ago

hiking

Great hike. Been there twice now. Lots of blackberry bushes. Not the prettiest until you get closer to the falls. Fairly well traveled.


1 month ago


1 month ago

hiking

Awesome water not cold at all


1 month ago

we love this trail easy for dogs and beer.


1 month ago

hiking

Nice trail, beautiful waterfall, great swimming area. Signage sucks, my boyfriend and I ended up taking the longest way due to confusion but figured it out in the end. Bring LOTS of water and sunscreen! Most of the trail isn't shaded. Not a hard hike but definitely longer than you'd think. If you climb to the top of the falls the rocks are a little harder to navigate. Loved it, would definitely go again.


1 month ago

hiking


2 months ago

walking

very nice by the water..lots of cool swim holes. the waterfall was beautiful. wish they would fix signs though. easy hike on well traveled path. go early and bring PLENTY of water.


2 months ago

hiking

Easy hike. Beautiful falls. Family friendly trails. Difficult to find entrance. Head down Waldo Road. Drive past shooting range, drive past Camp Far West road. Head past horse trailer parking. You go for what feels like forever on dirt road then your see parking area with entrance after you cross over walking ridge. Follow small signs pointing toward falls.


2 months ago

entry appears to be gated with no trespassing sign and alternate route has been blocked off by firewood


2 months ago

hiking

So this was tricky to find, there isn't great signage, we got lost twice, but if you're up for an adventure it can be a fun day. There are several other trails that you don't know which way to go. In the beginning after you make your first right towards a cardboard sign someone hung that says falls that way there is a trail that goes down and one that is wider and goes up- stay on the wide trail. We comedically referred to it as the purple brick road as the dirt is slightly purple.

When you get to a large empty area and the wide purple road goes one way and then there are two narrow trails- one marked upper falls and one marked lower falls well I can tell you it doesn't really matter which one you take because you end up coming out at the same spot at the top. If you look around at the top of the falls there is a small narrow trail that leds down to the large swimming hole below but it's steep and rocky. I watched many guys help there ladies down, but if you make it you can definitely go for a swim.

On the back side of the falls there is a small semi steep path that goes down to a rocky area that is before the falls falls- a few small water holes to soak your feet. That's where we hung out. Cool falls but downfall is its hot, mostly uphill, and very very limited shade. Being lots of water and sunscreen!!!!


2 months ago

hiking

My husband and I had a lot of fun. We packed a lunch and ate on the rocks at the falls when we were done. It was a great workout and the ground was really beautiful when we came across dark purple patches from the different minerals in it. Very cool. We even saw a snake at the falls!


2 months ago


2 months ago

Great fun family trail. The sign with the three trails fork needs repair. was confused which way to go. Was disappointed at young men who chose to smoke their weed right off the trail at one of the pools. Had young kids with us.