Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls

MODERATE 355 reviews

Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls is a 5.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Penn Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
501 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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. 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.

hiking
4 hours ago

Great trail that’s not too strenuous. It is well-suited for dogs and children. Awesome views of rolling hills, oak trees and of course, the falls

8 hours ago

I loved this trail it was the perfect place for a nice afternoon hike close to home. I definitely recommend it to anyone. Except for the Heat of Summer, it would be a very hot, miserable trail then. But the perfect trail for Spring, Autumn hikes.

hiking
muddy
7 days ago

Fun walk with the kids. There are little streams along the wide trail with baby frogs and small turtles. The trails to Beale falls were quite muddy with red dirt from the mining operations they use to do there. Most of the water in the area is also not recommended because it’s contaminated from the mining, etc. there’s also leeches in the swimming hole, but don’t let that deter you! This is a great leisure stroll, perfect for strollers, dogs and the kids

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful rainy day hike. There is water everywhere! The waterfall was raging! Kid friendly.

28 days ago

pretty easy hike lots of water going over the falls from the recent storms.

1 month ago

A gem, don’t go there.

walking
1 month ago

Really more a walk than a hike but it was a great time regardless. Wide roads and trails with a minimal elevation gain. Easy and enjoyable hike that allows for a super leisurely pace.

Everything was green an the falls were roaring from recent rain. Trail was empty. Only saw one other person on the hike. Passed a few people both in and out but overall it was super quiet. I wonder what things are like in the summer. If the water flows year round this would be a great summer hike with plenty of picnic spots along below the falls ad some solid shade on most of the trai

2 months ago

really nice hike beautiful Lush Green Hills and plenty of pretty views including the waterfall!

walking
2 months ago

Great hike, dog and kid friendly, went in the winter and it seemed really easy. The water was cold but you have a lot of places you can get into. I know our lab loved it.

2 months ago

Very good and easy hike. The first time we went in the summer and it was super hot so we took lots of breaks. This time it was a breeze and our 6 month old Lab loved it. Def a lot better in the winter than the summer. Great spots at the falls for a picnic and very kid and dog friendly. The upper and middle trail isn’t good for strollers so stick to the lower falls trail. We love Beale Falls because it’s super duper close to base and makes a great family day. If your from Cali or Stationed here like us. This is a must for Beale.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail to the falls is very clean and well taken care and the falls are amazing when you see them. Only problem is people with dogs running loose. We were almost bitten today by a off leash dog when we were on the trail to the falls. Have a watchful eye for loose dogs but worth the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I attempted this hike about five years ago in the middle of July. Needless to say, we didn't make it very far without feeling overheated. We decided to try it out New Year's Day. It was a perfect day to go see the falls. I would definitely say it's much easier in the wintertime, but if you go early enough in the summer you should be good and you'll find great spots for swimming. It is quite a bit of a drive from Yuba City or Grass Valley, but I like that because less people are apt to go there. Some pretty views if you like the rolling hills.

2 months ago

Great little hike.

2 months ago

Very nice California wintertime hike. I love the waterfalls and and the beautiful rolling foothills

hiking
4 months ago

this was an easy well maintained trail. Enjoyed lunch while cooling off in one of the many fresh water holes

4 months ago

Just did this hike today and was nice little hike. Only about 5 miles. Falls was beautiful. No people and free parking. Dirt road driving is rough so take proper vehicle.

hiking
5 months ago

Tuesday, October 2, 2018: weather was supposed to be cool and possibly rainy- not so. The reviews are correct that it gets hot along the trail, although there was quite a bit of shade. It isn't a hike I'd like to do in the summer months; there are plenty of swimming holes in Northern CA closer to my home. It's more of a walk than a hike anyway as there were only a few uphills, etc. Deer, bear, and maybe cougar tracks seen in the dirt trail. The road in was gravel and washboard but didn't need 4 wheel drive. I was fine in my Fiesta. Did not see anyone else along the trail. 1 hour in, 1 hour out. Overall a fun walk and a lovely day.

horseback riding
6 months ago

This was a beautiful place to ride our horses and there was some shade, wide trails, and access to water at the falls. However, the access road to get in and out was absolutely awful. 5 Miles of loose, bumpy, rattily gravel that at times could only drive 5mph or under. Even had to use 4WD at one point because our truck tires were slipping. Very rough ride on the body, and worrying about the horses, and for that reason we will not go again.

hiking
6 months ago

Loved this hike, nice easy walk to the falls. Dogs loved it and enjoyed the shade spots for a few breaks. Would highly recommend

7 months ago

This place is getting trashed unfortunately. Would be helpful to try clean up the area. We filled the only bag we had but still had to leave with a ton behind. This place/waterfall was more beautiful when there wasn’t graffiti everywhere.

hiking
7 months ago

The hike/walk to the waterfall was very nice, we got there later than we wanted to, we got there at 10:30AM. It’s definitely up to you and your enjoyment but due to the heat and very little shade, I recommend getting there earlier. But the sun did feel very nice on my skin ☀️ and don’t forget your sunblock. We took the upper trail that lead to the waterfall. It took us a little over an hour to get to the waterfall then we climbed our way down to swimming hole. The waterfall was very nice but the scenery to the river was gorgeous! I could have spent forever there. One more thing, if you decide to take your pet(s) please check the weather, go as early as possible, and take a lot of water. We ran into a few very hot and dehydrated pets. Fortunately my friend was a genius and brought quite a few water bottles with her that we were able to give water away to them. Please be safe.

8 months ago

Great trail! Fun swimming spots, but beware there is little to no shade and on a hot day it’s a bit treacherous. Take extra water!

8 months ago

a nice hike that loops at the end. falls and swimming hole.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike for kids and tons of water to play in once you reach the Falls. We were there at 9AM and were the only ones on the trail! Definitely would do this hike again.

hiking
8 months ago

A fabulous hike with diverse trails. We took the high trail to the falls and later found out it was the best way-better Trail. We got excited as soon as we heard the Falls so cut ourselves short. We should have followed the recommended route. We also went a bit of different route back but still a great loop.

hiking
8 months ago

Reviews were so helpful! It made the loop feel very accesible as we knew where to go. Started out at 9am and weather quickly neared the high 90s, some shade but there was a nice cool breeze to help w the hike. Would go again in cooler weather or even just earlier on in the day this summer!

hiking
9 months ago

Easy loop hike, 7 and 4 year old made it with zero problems, beautiful scenery and tons of places to stop and rest, cool off or just enjoy nature’s beauty. Highly recommend

hiking
9 months ago

This was such a fun small little hike with the perfect spot for u to have lunch in the center and just chill and enjoy the waterfall id definitely do this one again we got there around like 10:30am and only one group of people where there but on our return there where a few more people going to enjoy the waterfall

9 months ago

taking the hike later in the day was really nice. not too many people and the weather was great. a bit hot but with the swimming holes throughout, it was well worth it. along the fork we took the upper trail to the waterfall and the lower trail on our return. highly recommend due to the steep walk of the lower trail. the non shaded trails wasn't that long in between the shaded areas. but the scenery was beautiful. at the end you have the option to either look at the face of the waterfall or look at it from on top. take plenty of water and bring either a friend or lover. as me and my lady enjoyed California's beauty together.

9 months ago

easy trail to the falls. nice watering holes to cool off.

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