Burney Falls had been at the top of my "Must Do Before Summer is Over" list and I'm so glad I was able to check it off, a mere three days before the season officially came to an end. What can I say--I work best under pressure.
Located just a few miles north of Burney in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, the waterfalls can literally be seen from the parking lot. However, you won't get the full experience without walking the short (less than a mile) distance down to the base of the falls.
Once you get down there it's like you've been transported into the fuckin' Catalina Wine Mixer--huge tufts of mist from the torrential downpour envelop and swirl around you.
The water is impossibly blue and crystal-clear, however, as with most beautiful things, danger is afoot. Signage discourages swimming in the 42 degree water and the visibly swift current is evident. I wore my swimsuit with the intention of taking a dip but I changed my mind the second I stuck a toe in, despite the 97 degree weather #nope.
It's hard to put into words how truly magical it is when you're standing in front of it. I've had tons of friends tell me about it so I had an idea in my head but nothing compares to actually seeing it for yourself. For one, it's a lot bigger than I thought (TWSS) and there weren't a ton of people around although, I attribute this to choosing to go on a Monday. We packed a lunch and a couple of beers and just soaked up the views.
After eating (not to mention being in the car for 3 hours) we decided to stretch our legs a bit and *hike* the falls loops. I say *hike* because it's literally 1.3 miles total. It's an easy, scenic walk with a teeny bit of elevation and gives you something other to look at besides the falls if you get tired of staring at majesty.
All in all, the trip was the perfect day trip. It's a 3 (or two, if you've got a lead foot like me) hour drive from Sacramento. We left around 10am and were home in time for the Giants game by 6:30. I will definitely be back, next time with more beer and resolve to jump in.
GPS Coordinates: 41.0149, 121.6506
Pups Allowed? Nope