Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls

MODERATE 200 reviews

Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls is a 5.1 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
5.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
587 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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. 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
6 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

13 days ago

We made the unfortunate choice to hike here starting too late in the day... 11am start. There is very little shade and few options to get into the creek until you are about half a mile from the falls. There are some moderately steep spots, which weren't bad but in the heat seemed mountainous. The falls were very pretty and the pool below them looked inviting but it was a steep climb down to them and back up to get out. Having our dog, we didn't venture down there. We ended up going back to the little pool that we first came to and sat there for awhile to cool down before hiking out. The pool is shallow (an adult can touch the bottom) and felt so refreshing. Beware... there are little fish in this pool that will give you a test-taste. Doesn't hurt but it startled us. :0)

My advice: plan to start hiking by 8am. Take plenty of water. Don't stay too long or stay til dusk because 100 degrees hiking out feels like 150. Please, if you take your dog, make SURE they are wearing booties!!!!! The ground is too hot, there is not much shade, and the stickers and fox tails are abundant. We did not and should have (and usually do) known better. We ended up tearing up a shirt and wrapping her feet.

All in all it's a pretty trail. But maybe best saved for a 90 degree max day.

20 days ago

nice hike, swimming next to falls was so nice and refreshing!

hiking
21 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

The waterfalls were awesome. Swimming in the creek was fantastic. I recommend taking the single track to the left if you are hiking.

hiking
25 days ago

An awesome hike! The falls are worth a swim!

hiking
26 days ago

Hi guys!
I hiked this in 100+ degrees with a backpack full of 32 oz waters and beer. IT IS POSSIBLE but it is harsh, not a lot of shade, hot dry and then all of a sudden just when you think you can't make it any longer you hear water. There's the bridge you go over once you park and go to the right to start the trail, then after about 20 minutes there is a Y....I would reccomend to go RIGHT, it's more shade and along the river I didn't realize it until I was coming back. I went LEFT at the Y and didn't get a chance to see the lower falls and ended up straight at the upper falls, where I jumped the 90ft waterfall. I would advise against it especially for inexperienced cliff jumpers. So, after jumping I immediately wanted to go home because my body was in shock. If I would have went right at the Y I would have had a chance to explore before the upper falls but the LEFT at the Y will take you on a dry skinny trail with no "view" like everyone says and no river access until you reach the top. Have fun you guys and make sure not to miss the spenceville turn from camp far west like I did!!!!

hiking
26 days ago

This is a great trail for the family! I recommend starting very early as a majority of the trail is exposed. Bring your swimsuit and water shoes, if you plan on going during the summer months. We took a refreshing dip in a swimming pool down below the lower Falls. Some of the trail is made up of dirt roads and some of it drops to a single person trail. We saw beautiful scenery and enjoyed every minute of it. We will definitely be coming back again. The only downside is the car ride getting to the trail head is extremely bumpy and must be driven extremely slow.

hiking
27 days ago

28 days ago

The trail itself was lacking and the last 10 miles of driving was a ridiculously bumpy unpaved road. but The waterfall is gorgeous though!! Went on an exceptionally hot day and got there early enough that we had the waterfall to ourselves and it was definitely refreshing. Didn't want to leave! But also didn't want to die of heat stroke. Wear sunscreen as many parts of the hike are without shade.

hiking
1 month ago

This was our third visit here in the past several years. Each time it has been hot, hot, hot. Come prepared. Waterfall is nice. Also, make sure to drive in via Hwy 20 as the directions on AllTrails are circuitous and use dirt roads that are not well maintained.

1 month ago

this was a nice hike, i took my 6 & 9 year old. we all made it to the water fall and my 9 year old was actually swimming in the water hole where the water fall is. getting down to the actual water whole was a lot more challenging with children, although the good thing is they are kids and love to climb. even if you dont make it all the way down to the water to put your feet in still is beautiful to see from a distance. i do suggest wearing shoes with grip.. rocks are slippery both in the water and getting down to the water. well worth the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Great place virtually in the middle of nowhere! The drive to get there is pretty rough but the hike is relatively easy and the falls are worth it. Definitely get there early or you'll be sharing it with a lot of people.

1 month ago

take lots of water. flat, easy and very unexpected waterfall. still cranking due to wet winter. lots of kids on weekends rock jumping.
great waterfalls!

1 month ago

Great hike, amazing views and an awesome creek/river depending on the time of year. Perfect for a half day excursion

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was awesome! Clearly defined paths. Gorgeous waterfalls! Swimming holes. Next time I'd bring my vibrams so I can play in the water and still climb around.
It was a lot of FUN! Bring water. Lots of poison oak though so stay on the path and be careful not to touch it.

hiking
1 month ago

I've been to this trail twice now, once in February when everything was super green and beautiful and cold,, and again yesterday. I went with my friend and her two children. It was a warmer day so we wanted to go somewhere to swim. When I was here in February there were some cool looking swimming holes so I was excited to come back.. the water was a bit cool, but I expected that.. my only complaint was that the rocks were jagged and uneven, so "shoes on" swimming.. but other than that it was a nice outing for the kids..

hiking
1 month ago

The road in is 12 miles - round trip, gravel/dirt with ruts and unavoidable bone jarring potholes. The area is closed on occasion without notice for hunters :/ which must be super disappointing to anyone coming from outside the area to hike. This really is a local hike for those in Grass Valley or down in Yuba City/Marysville. I wouldn't drive from outside the area for this. The local region is HOT (in the summer), low lying foothills and central oak woodland. 80% of the trail is exposed to sun so bring water, hats, and sunscreen.

Cattle graze throughout the land, contributing to the already polluted Dry Creek. Mining has left this creek laden with heavy metals such as arsenic and coppr (this area was mined for copper before regulations were put in place). Swim at your own risk. The water is NOT safe to swim in, yet people keep coming. The trail is heavily trafficked, flat and wide enough for ranchers to drive. Some reports of break-ins at the trailhead. Unleashed dogs on the trail are common and sometimes problematic, owners don't pick up poop.

If you can get past all this, there is some inherent serenity in the rolling foothill woodland hills and waterfall. 5 miles round trip. It's good for a couple hours or less.