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McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park: Wikis


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McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
Location Shasta County, California
Nearest city Burney, California
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Burney Falls

Located approximately 6 miles (10 km) north of Burney, California, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is the second oldest state park in the California State Parks System. The park offers camping, fishing, watersports, hiking and horseback riding facilities. The park is mainly known for the waterfall, Burney Falls, at the entrance of the park. Wildlife in the park, as far as most campers see, consists mainly of many types of bass and trout in the streams, and land animals such as Steller's Jays, squirrels, woodpeckers, deer, and even the occasional black bear will meander into campgrounds.



The park is within the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region, with 910 acres (4 km²) of forest and five miles (8 km) of streamside and lake shoreline, including a portion of Lake Britton.

The park's centerpiece is the 129 foot (39 m) Burney Falls, which is not the highest or largest waterfall in the state, but often considered the most beautiful. Additional water comes from springs, joining to create a mist-filled basin. Burney Creek originates from the park's underground springs and flows to Lake Britton, getting larger along the way to the falls.

The park's landscape was created by volcanic activity as well as erosion from weather and streams. This volcanic region is surrounded by mountain peaks and is covered by black volcanic rock, or basalt. Created over a million years ago, the layered, porous basalt retains rainwater and snow melt, which forms a large underground reservoir.

Within the park, the water emerges as springs at and above Burney Falls, where it flows at 100 million gallons every day (4.4 m³/s).


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.

Burney Creek

Burney Creek is the creek that separates the falls from Lake Britton, and is the only area in the park where fishing is totally accepted. It is possible to go up to ten yards of the falls, and the view is so obstructed that its virtually impossible to tell that one is even that close; so onlookers at the visitors center are sometimes lucky to see people that appear to be ready to walk over the waterfall.




There are five miles (8 km) of hiking trails winding through the park's evergreen forests. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the park, and the visitor center can be used as a general delivery mailing address for hikers. There is also a hike to the Pioneer's Cemetery, (the longest hike in the park at around 3 miles.) Three trails that surround the falls, the first starts at the top of the falls; near the visitor's center. one that goes from the top of a hill to the base of the falls, (which is the shortest at about .5 miles,) the Falls Loop Trail: that goes from the falls to Lake Britton's boat dock, and through some magnificent forestry and white rock, and the Headwaters Trail that take you up and around the top of the falls to see some different angles of Burney Falls, and fewer people.

Lake Britton

Also, a portion of Lake Britton is accessible to the campers who choose to stay at Burney Falls for swimming, boating, water sports, and a small portion is reserved for fishing. The water in Lake Britton stays at approximately 42 degrees Fahrenheit, (6 degrees Celsius), and flows in from Burney Creek. The people who go boating are able to go through some nooks and crannies that aren't even considered part of the Burney Falls park system. These include a rail bridge that was used in the 1986 movie Stand By Me, the Pit River Dam, many independent boat docks, and a villa owned by the PG&E shareholders. Also, boaters can often pick up kin tired from the strenuous Falls Loop Trail. In contrast to bringing a speed boat, one can also rent a swan boat, canoes, or paddle boats to ride on the lake.

For the Kids

After dark there are a number of different interactive shows that park rangers put on via overhead projector; common scenarios include: campfire safety, the Burney Falls forest fire of 1986, and other informative, educational presentations.

Also, the park offers a junior rangers program, in which a park ranger leads the children through a day in the life of a park ranger, and a myriad of other activities for youngsters.


  • The railroad bridge scene from the 1986 film Stand By Me was filmed just outside the park on a bridge owned by the McCloud River Railroad over Lake Britton.
  • The falls were called "the Eighth Wonder of the World" by President Theodore Roosevelt.
  • Declared a National Natural Landmark in December 1984.

See also


Burney Falls Homepage This text, or a previous version of it, was taken and adapted from the California State Parks page for McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial SP, which is considered to be in the public domain. See the talk page for more details.

Coordinates: 41°01′08″N 121°39′05″W / 41.01889°N 121.65139°W / 41.01889; -121.65139


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