Burney Falls – The Eighth Wonder of the World Sits Right Here in Northern California

Getting enough of the Northern California destination that President Theodore Roosevelt dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World," isn't possible.

We’ve spent a lot of time admiring NorCal’s king of all waterfalls, Burney Falls. We’ve asked the question “did Tarzan dive off of Burney Falls?” We also showed you it is possible to jump off of Burney Falls (although very, very dangerous and probably illegal). But getting enough of the NorCal destination that President Theodore Roosevelt named the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” isn’t possible.

Located just north of Redding between Lassen Peak and Mt. Shasta in California’s lava country, is famous for its 129-foot waterfall, which cascades from Burney Creek down into Lake Britton. The falls are a sacred place for the Pit River Indian Tribe, who have held ceremonial rituals here for thousands of years.

The year-round falls are formed by melting snow from Burney Mountain, which travels through underground streams before hitting solid rock and flowing back to the surface. Each day, more than 100 million gallons of water plunge over the falls.

While you’re there, don’t miss the Falls Loop Trail, which is a 1-mile hike to the base of the falls and back up. During the walk, you’ll see lava flows and fractured basalt — evidence of the region’s turbulent volcanic activity. After descending 100 feet into Burney Canyon, we’re rewarded with a cool mist at the base of the falls.

The 20-foot pool is quite popular with fishermen, who regularly pull in rainbow, brook and brown trout. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks are allowed, and the season runs from late April through Nov. 15. Swimming is discouraged in the pool, which maintains a chilly 48 degrees.

As the trail continues uphill, you’ll reach the top of the falls and circle back to the visitor center. The cliffs at the edge of the falls are unstable, so be sure to stay behind the fence!

If you want to stay the night, Burney Falls State Park has an excellent campground, with 128 sites, flush restrooms and showers. You can also book one of their 1- or 2-bedroom cabins, which are equipped with fire rings, propane heaters, picnic tables and bunk beds. Just note that there is no electricity, so bring along lanterns and your own bedding. At the Burney Falls General Store, you can stock up on grocery items, souvenirs and snacks.

Here are some of the best recent photos and videos of Burney Falls from Instagram –

This waterfall was very cool. Most importantly, we saw an otter

A post shared by megan ranger (@meganranger) on

Burney Falls is OVERFLOWING right now! 📹: @kd0n_

A post shared by Active NorCal (@activenorcal) on

Burney Falls is FLOWING right now (📹: @cassielue2)

A post shared by Active NorCal (@activenorcal) on

Burney’s having winter dreams ❄ ( 📹: @ohtombombadil)

A post shared by Active NorCal (@activenorcal) on

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. Hello, Thank you for your wonderful articles and pictures of and around Burney Falls. I am the Interpretive Specialist at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park where I lead hikes, campfire programs, canoe tours and educational experiences for visiting schools as well as other activities during the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. I and other staff members/volunteers appreciate your praise and suggestions to see the park and falls in all its splendor and heartily agree with those coming away thinking it is one of the most awe-inspiring place to visit. However, I wanted to let you know of a couple of corrections I would suggest for your website. We are at an elevation of 3000 feet rather than 3 and we can find no records of Teddy Roosevelt saying it was the 8th wonder of the world. We can verify his saying it is a wonder of the world upon hearing about it on his train stop campaign tour to Oregon and think writers of the time thought this was not bombastic enough so added the Eighth part I would also suggest to people wanting to see the falls in the summer to be aware we can get so busy on summer weekends, particularly the holidays (4th of July, Memorial and Labor day) we have to close the park for an hour or more waiting for parking spaces to open up for more guests to come in. So we suggest visiting during less busy times like the weekdays and early mornings/late afternoons on the weekends to be sure to avoid being asked to come back later. We are open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. More information on the park can be found both on the official state park website parks.ca.gov and our very own website run by the Friends of the Falls, a local nonprofit organization – burneyfalls.com. In other news 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Frank and Scott McArthur’s donation of the falls and land around it to the state of California and we have a most excellent celebration in the fall called Heritage Day on the Sunday before Columbus day in October. It is a lot of fun so come check it out!

    Thank you for your kind words, time and consideration.
    Marlon Sloan
    Park interpretive Specialist
    McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

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