|Stand in the Thunder of a Waterfall|
Burney Falls ranks as one of the West’s most spectacular waterfalls.
On a visit, President Theodore Roosevelt pronounced this 129-foot cascade one of the wonders of the world, and it’s easy to see why. The showcase within McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park , 60 miles northeast of Redding, this spectacular waterfall thunders down a dark-rock cliff-side year-round, but is at its peak in May and June thanks to Mt. Shasta’s winter snowmelt. Visitors can reach the falls easily on a paved trail that’s less than a ½-mile long, and longer hikes are also available.
The park's dramatic landscape was formed by volcanic activity then carved by winter storms and streams. Created over a million years ago, the region’s naturally layered, porous basalt rock retains rainwater and snowmelt, which forms a large underground reservoir, called an aquifer. Within the park, this water emerges as springs at and above Burney Falls, with a staggering 100 million gallons every day tumbling down the cliff.
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.
Things have been spiffed up a great deal since then: 24 cabins, opened in 2007, are available for spring and summer overnight stays. There are also 128 campsites. To book, call 800.444.7275.