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Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls

MODERATE 443 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

walking

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Note: This trail is closed the last week of March and the first week of April for turkey hunting. 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
16 days ago

Be careful going out Sept - Jan. We went out today took us a little longer than we expected. Walking back around 6pm there were hunters shooting basically on the trail. More than a little scary. We’ll definitely go back but only once hunting season is over.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Hiked this trail on August 17. The trail is pretty mellow, nothing too hard. There's not a lot of shade though, so get there early. There is a little rock scrambling you have to do to get to the bottom of the waterfall. The trail is a little boring now that the terrain is dry, but the pool at the base of the waterfall made the hike worth while.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

This is a nice 4 hour hike. if you do this trail in the summer months be sure to start early in the morning that way you can finish before 1100. I plan on returning in the spring to see if the fall or pools look different.

running
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail run did it with my kid in a jogging stroller. Was fairly smooth until the end. I have done this before but forgot about the last bit is very rocky! Was very hot but went swimming in the water holes above the falls. Well worth the hike!

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

The waterfall makes this hike worth it, but only about 50% of the hike is shaded. We started around 10am and it was already 90 degrees!! There is a yellow marker just after halfway that says to go left, but when you go left the downloaded trail makes it seem like you are not on the trail. STAY LEFT! It reconnects later and it is SO much lovelier than the fire trail the majority of the first part of the hike it on. Also - note that to get to the trailhead, the last five miles of your drive is unpaved road.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail in general is fairly easy, but overall kind of boring. We enjoyed the waterfall, we climbed down through the rock to get close and that was worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

I arrived early. The weather was perfect. There are three ways you can get to the falls. Lots of shade & gorgeous views.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

It was a beautiful day with great weather. the hike is relatively easy, following a dirt road, but at the end the elevation gain is steep for about a half mile. the falls are a great place to relax for an hour

4 months ago

Great hiking trail

Easy flat trail but a little long for my family of three kids. The falls are lovely, glad we went on a shady day with a cool breeze. Enjoyable hike, but not my favorite.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail was gorgeous and fun! We went on a cloudy day in between rainy days when the sun peeped out long enough to warm things up a bit. The waterfall was roaring, the grass was green, the waters downstream flowed and wildflowers were abundant. It’s well marked and when you get to the split in the trail where the sign points three directions, just know that they all wind up more or less in the same spot- it just loops. So, we chose the upper route of the three and it ultimately looped us around to the other two lower trails. So pretty. Mostly flat terrain but the upper trail gave us a bit of climb. Not bad though.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike, everything was so green still and the water was flowing nicely.

Absolutely loved this trail!! About an hour and a half to the top of the falls. Easy enough for almost any age and any level. We saw many families with strollers, impressive!! The lower and upper Beale falls are breath taking! We arrived at 9:00am back to the car by 12:15. So so hot though no shade unless you stop under a tree. So consider arriving early as possible because the heat on the way back is tough. But absolutely worth it and will be coming back!

Oh wow, 5/8/19, still green but not muddy. Will probably be nice for another minute. Excellent dog swimming holes and good trail conditions

hiking
bugs
rocky
5 months ago

Absolutely fantastic. The drive is a ton of fun too, just beware of losing traction on the gravel and the hidden potholes. Also a warning to any parents or pet owners looking to go, there was a dead bird on the side of the trail, not sure if it'll still be there but just keep an eye out for it in case.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

The trail is awesome, but the road to get there is not! That gravel road gave me a flat tire on my way back home. I couldn’t even find a nail. Not sure what it could be. Better if you have an SUV or a truck; my little 4 cylinder compact car suffered a lot because of the potholes and bumpiness. Your car will need a serious car wash after going there and will probably need new tires if you get a flat tire like me. Be prepared and take a spare tire!

hiking
5 months ago

Go while everything is still so green! The views were nice. Trail easy enough to bring the young ones. It'll feel like you're walking through 100 acre woods. View our video here to see what you're missing out on! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBnFVdp6M04

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

6 months ago

great sunny day for a nice hike. the wife, dog and were greeted with green grass and many wild flowers. Beware of tick as we found one on my wife.

Amazing dog friendly trail. Lots of wildflowers and a beautiful view of the falls. Come early on a weekend though. Gets busy.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful hike with lots of green and wild flowers, there was a lot of cow manure so most of the hime smelled a bit but it was still beautiful. There were a lot of rolling green hills and good sights to take in. If you have a pupper make sure to spray them with tick spray because our doggo got a tick in her ear.

hiking
6 months ago

beautiful

hiking
6 months ago

Extra star just for the type of day it was! Well traveled trail with a great payoff of a series of falls at the end. The wildflowers are just emerging and there are fields of brilliant white, lavender and purple. Beware of the map directions as several people commented on. Go to Waldo turn-off for 3 miles and left on Spenceville Road 2 miles until it ends to get to the FREE parking (rare in CA!!).

hiking
6 months ago

This hike had so many diff views and terrains! It really is quite beautiful. And the the many diff waterfalls honestly surprised me. They were larger than I expected. It’s very kid friendly. It is long, but relatively a mild hike.

hiking
6 months ago

FYI- got to entrance and ranger let us know trail is closed the last week of March and first week of April for turkey hunting. Bummer! Also five miles of gravel road to get there.

Beautiful waterfall! Worth the hike

hiking
6 months 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

6 months 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.

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