Upon first seeing Burney Falls, President Theodore Roosevelt called it one of the wonders of the world: a 129-foot waterfall gushing 100 million gallons every single day. This baby absolutely thunders! Whitewater and mist kick out around its base as water from Burney Creek drops over a basalt cliff face. Spring might bring more water, but autumn brings an added splash—of magnificent fall colors. Make an easy 1.2-mile hike around Falls Loop Trail. If visiting on a weekend, time your visit for early or late in the day to avoid crowds (this place is always popular). Another tip: Visit when it rains—that always keeps people away.
The short walk wastes no time getting to its marquee attraction; you’re immediately privy to a tremendous view of Burney. Follow the gentle switchback down to the base of the falls, where mist wets your cheeks. Look up to the top of the falls, and you might see what looks like an eagle’s nest on top of a tree. It’s actually an osprey nest; as of this October, it’s still being used. Stroll a few minutes downstream and cross over Rainbow Bridge, then back up on the west side of the falls. Feel the Burney!
From Redding, drive 50 miles east on Hwy. 299 to the town of Burney. Continue another 5 miles east to Hwy. 89 and turn left (north). Drive 5.5 miles to the park entrance. Park in the main lot by the visitor center and follow the Falls Loop trail. Burney Falls is in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. No dogs.