Panorama of Burney Mountain and Lassen Peak (right background). Photo by Virginia.
Decades ago, I lived in Shasta County for several years; and for some reason, I never made it to Burney Falls. Even as a young person, I appreciated the natural beauty and sought it out; but I truly feel I have a greater appreciation for the falls now, as a senior. They are astonishingly beautiful and most definitely worth waiting for! It was about 85° F at the Falls Overlook the afternoon we visited—pretty warm for us. Margaret and I first thought to view the falls strictly from the overlook, but we ultimately decided to walk down the Falls Loop Trail to get up close. The stroll down wasn't the issue, of course. It was the return trip up in the heat we were both taking issue with. However, as anyone who has been at the base of the falls knows, it is much cooler down there in the mist—maybe 20 degrees cooler!
Burney Falls from Falls Overlook. Photo by Virginia.
At a height of 129 feet (or 114 feet, according to the World Waterfall Database), Burney Falls isn't the tallest or largest waterfall in California; but it just might be the most beautiful. The hundreds of springs that seep out of the cliffs create a wall of falls some 250 feet wide! The water from those springs appears almost... lace-like. (Zoom in on the photos to see for yourself.)
Burney Fall from Falls Loop Trail. Photo by Virginia.
Burney Falls from Falls Loop Trail. Photo by Margaret.
Burney Falls from the Falls Loop Trail. The water empties into Burney Creek at the distant right. Photo by Margaret.
Margaret and I hadn't planned to leave our cousins (who were seated in the shade near the Falls Overlook) for as long as we did. We spent only a few minutes near the base of the falls before walking the loop trail beside Burney Creek down to Rainbow Bridge. After just a few minutes there, we decided it would be a quicker route back to them if we turned around rather than proceed further on the loop. It was on the way back that Margaret tripped and fell on uneven rock steps. I had walked ahead about twenty feet before I realized she wasn't right behind me. When I glanced behind, I immediately saw her on the ground but also noticed several young people helping her. A young man helped her up, and a young woman offered up first aid from her small kit. How kind they were! With a bandage and antibiotic cream covering the scrape on her elbow (she also had a scrape on her knee hidden by her dress), and after many thanks to those who came to her aid, she and I walked off arm-in-arm, stopping to sit on shady benches every so often to cool off and catch our breaths. John and Annette had moved the car into a shady spot, and John came looking for us at the top of the trail as we returned. It was ever so nice getting into their air-conditioned car and drinking the icy water from our Yetis. They took us for a quick sightseeing drive through the park and campground area before briefly stopping to show us Burney Lake. Then we were on the way back to our home on wheels—the Roadtrek—which is "vacationing" in our cousins' side yard. Thank you, Cousins!
Burney Creek from Falls Loop Trail. Photo by Virginia.
Burney Creek and Rainbow Bridge. Photo by Margaret.
Burney Creek from Rainbow Bridge. Photo by Margaret.
Burney Falls and Creek. Movie by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, you may view it directly on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/JDDqPj9TGvI]
NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.