Burney Falls

What can you buy for ten dollars?

A used book. Lunch at a fast food joint. A six pack (of root beer), Coffee and a bagel. Maybe a movie ticket. A pair of socks. Some laundry detergent. A used CD or DVD.

Ten bucks can also pay for your admission to one of the most incredible waterfalls in the United States. This falls is not the highest or largest falls in California but you perhaps it is the most beautiful.

This is the 129 foot Burney Falls.

After I visited and sketched the cinematic Lake Britton Railroad Bridge I returned on Highway 89 and on an impulse, I turned right into McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. When I found out that the “hike” to the falls was only a quarter mile, I happily paid my ten bucks and proceeded to the parking lot! (I was not so concerned about the length of the hike but about timing because I was going to meet my mom and Steve for dinner in Penn Valley).

There were a lot of cars in the parking lot and once I opened my car door I could her the roar of the falls. The paved trail down to the falls is a switch back and as you head down to water level, you are given different views of the falls like a giant amphitheater.

Waters seemed to be appearing everywhere along the basalt rock face almost transporting you back to some tropical waterfall on Kauai. But the cooler temps brought me right back to Northern California in October!

The reason the water is pouring through the rock like an extremely leak dam is that the falls are fed by an underground springs. Burney Falls has a regular flow of 379 million litres a day.

I ambled off the popular path, found a boulder as a seat, and sketched the falls with a brush pen.

President Theodore Roosevelt was so amazing at the sight of Burney Falls he proclaimed it “the Eighth Wonder of the World”.

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