Burney Falls

Coordinates: 41°00′39″N 121°39′10″W / 41.0107162°N 121.6527649°W / 41.0107162; -121.6527649
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Burney Falls
The falls in full flow in April
Burney Falls is located in California
Burney Falls
LocationShasta County, California, US
Coordinates41°00′39″N 121°39′10″W / 41.0107162°N 121.6527649°W / 41.0107162; -121.6527649[1]
Total height114 feet (35 m)[2]
Number of drops1
Total width250 feet (76 m)[2]
WatercourseBurney Creek
flow rate
195.0 cu ft/s (5.52 m3/s)[2]

Burney Falls is a waterfall on Burney Creek, within McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, in Shasta County, California.

The water comes from underground springs above and at the falls, which are 129 feet high, and provides an almost constant flow rate of 379 million litres per day, even during the dry summer months. Burney Creek is a tributary of the Pit River which has its mouth on the Lake Britton reservoir to the north.

The falls are an example of river drainage regulated by stratigraphically-controlled springs, and of a waterfall formed by undercutting of horizontal strata.[3]

Called "the Eighth Wonder of the World" by President Theodore Roosevelt, the falls are "at their most intense ... during the spring, from early April through October, when snowmelt is at its peak".[4] The falls were declared a National Natural Landmark in December 1954.[5] In March 2021, a National Geographic article declared the site to be one of "northern California’s most spectacular waterfalls".[6]

The water temperature rarely gets higher than 42 degrees but the pool below the falls is a popular location for catch-and-release fly-fishing.[7] The Redding tourism website states that the falls "can be enjoyed from above at lookout point", and preferably, from the pool at base of the falls, accessed via a trail.[8]

Some of the waterfalls scenes for Willow (1988) were shot at the falls, although Powerscourt Waterfall in Ireland was also used for filming.[9] Other movies with scenes filmed at Burney Falls include Stand by Me (1986), The Parson and the Outlaw (1957) and Tarzan's Fight for Life (1958).[10]


  1. ^ "Burney Falls". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Burney Falls". World Waterfall Database. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  3. ^ Burney Falls
  4. ^ EXPERIENCES Burney Falls
  5. ^ "Burney Falls National Natural Landmark". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  6. ^ Where to see northern California’s most spectacular waterfalls
  7. ^ Burney Falls
  8. ^ McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
  9. ^ Where Was Willow Filmed: All Locations
  10. ^ As It Was: The Big Screen Features Burney Falls

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