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  • The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
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Visit McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park

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In the Shasta-Trinity region of far north California, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial is a well developed state park offering lots of facilities, containing a section of forested land bordering a reservoir (Lake Britton), with a sandy beach popular for swimming and sun-bathing, but the highlight is a beautiful segmented waterfall, formed by the waters of Burney Creek as it cascades 100 feet over a basalt cliff in dozens of separate streams. Below is a deep, blue pool, from where the creek flows through a pleasant, tree-lined valley for a mile, before joining the lake. Trails follow both sides of the stream and allow viewing of the falls from various angles, and although all can be seen in just an hour or so, the waterfall is very spectacular, one of the prettiest sights in north California.

Trails

Five miles of paths cross the mixed coniferous forest including Burney Creek Trail alongside the stream to the lake, Pioneer Cemetery Trail to an old graveyard, and a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, but the one big attraction is the falls, visible by a brief walk westwards from the parking area beside the park entrance. A 0.3 mile path descends 200 feet down a steep talus slope to the base of the cascade, while a 1.3 mile circuit (Falls Loop Trail) can be made by walking north (downstream) a way, crossing the creek on a footbridge, turning south and climbing back to the brink of the falls (only limited views available from this side), then re-crossing a little way upstream, back to the start. The creek has a substantial flow - 100 million gallons a day - yet this originates just half a mile south, from large underground springs, hence the amount of water is fairly constant all year unlike most California mountain waterfalls that become small once all the winter snows have melted.