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McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Highway 89 near Burney
Burney, CA 96013


The park is within the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region, with forest and five miles of streamside and lake shoreline, including a portion of Lake Britton. 

The park's centerpiece is the 129-foot Burney Falls, which is not the highest or largest waterfall in the state, but possibly the most beautiful. Additional water comes from springs, joining to create a mist-filled basin. Burney Creek originates from the park's underground springs and flows to Lake Britton, getting larger along the way to the majestic falls. 

The park's landscape was created by volcanic activity as well as erosion from weather and streams. This volcanic region is surrounded by mountain peaks and is covered by black volcanic rock, or basalt. Created over a million years ago, the layered, porous basalt retains rainwater and snow melt, which forms a large underground reservoir. 

Within the park, the water emerges as springs at and above Burney Falls, where it flows at 100 million gallons every day. 

Burney Falls was named after pioneer settler Samuel Burney who lived in the area in the 1850s. The McArthurs were pioneer settlers who arrived in the late 1800s. Descendants were responsible for saving the waterfall and nearby land from development. They bought the property and gave it to the state as a gift in the 1920s.



The park has more than 100 family sites (without hookups) and several primitive sites. All campsites are a short hike from both the lake and the falls. An RV sanitation station is located at the north end of the campground.


Five miles of hiking trails wind through evergreen forests, and the Pacific Crest Trail passes through the park.

- Burney Creek Trail—This backcountry trail leads to the falls through ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, incense cedar, and a variety of oaks.

- Pioneer Cemetery Trail—This hiking and biking trail follows a historic wagon trail to the Pioneer Cemetery.


At Burney Creek, brook and rainbow trout abound in October. Lake Britton’s trout, bass, bluegill, and crappie are popular with anglers. Lake Britton is easily reached via the Burney Creek Trail or by vehicle.


A shaded group picnic area, seating up to 100 people, may be rented for groups and memorable special events. For rental details, call the park office at (530) 335-2777.

Find first-come, first-served family picnic tables near the lake, the creek, and the visitor center.


Nestled within the campsites, you will find a number of one- and two-room cabins within walking distance of the falls and the camp store. Each cabin is well insulated against chilly nights and is equipped with propane heaters, padded platform bunk beds, wood floors, and six-foot covered porches.

Boat Ramps
Boat Rentals

En route Campsites
Environmental Campsites
Family Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Dump Station
Alternative Camping
RV Access

Hiking Trails
Horseback Riding

Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Interpretive Exhibits
Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Beach Area
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs

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