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Camping at Magnificent McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

| Updated May 31, 2023

McArthur-Burney Falls RV Camping: Best Things to Do and See

If you are visiting Northern California this year, I have located a wonderful park for you to check out!

The following is my guide to a gorgeous waterfall just outside of Burney, California.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

If you love beautiful waterfalls, this northern California gem is not to be missed. The park is situated inside the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region, about an hour-and-15-minute drive northeast of Redding.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is set in a gorgeous forest and features five miles of stream and lake shoreline, including the magnificent Lake Britton.

McArthur-Burney Falls

McArthur-Burney Falls
McArthur-Burney Falls

The jewel of the park is the 129-foot Burney Falls. While it is not the tallest or largest waterfall in the state of California, many think it is the most beautiful.

Located between Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta, President Theodore Roosevelt once called Burney Falls, “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Inside the park, at and above Burney Falls, most water emerges as springs. Burney Creek begins in the park's underground springs, which then flow to Lake Britton.

As it travels downhill, it grows in size, finally cascading over a beautiful rock formation, creating the majestic falls. Burney Falls measures at over 100 million gallons of water flow each day. Additional springs water joins in at the base of the falls, creating a mist-filled basin.

By the way, if you love waterfalls, you may want to read 13 Stunning Waterfalls in the U.S.

Lake Britton

This picturesque body of water is a reservoir located in Shasta County, California. It is situated on State Route 89 and is well-known for its vast array of brown trout and bass. Mac-Arthur-Burney Falls Memorial Park lies on one part of Lake Britton.

Film buffs might recognize a bridge located at Lake Britton. Fondly known as the “Stand by Me” Bridge, visitors can gaze at the large railroad trestle that crosses the large lake below.

In the movie, the four main characters come upon this bridge to cross. While they trek across it, a train shows up behind them that they have to outrun. It is one of the most memorable scenes in the film.

The Park's Landscape

The unique topography in the park was created by volcanic activity, as well as erosion over thousands of years. The region is surrounded by mountain peaks covered in basalt or black volcanic rock.

Formed over one million years ago, the porous basalt easily retains snowmelt and rainwater. Over time, it has formed a large underground reservoir. This reservoir is responsible for the springs that feed Burney Falls with 100 million gallons of water every day!


There are over five miles of trails to hike within the park. The Pacific Crest Trail comes right through the park. Most visitors also hike the Burney Falls Trail as well as the Burney Creek Trail.

Burney Falls Trail and Burney Creek Headwaters Trail

This popular 2.7 loop trail is located just outside of Burney, California. The loop is appropriate for all skill levels, and visitors can view both Burney Creek and the falls. It is best to hike from May through October.

Burney Creek Trail

This 2.5 out and back trail features a lake. It is good for all skill levels and can is best used from May through October.

Enjoy a number of activities along this trail, which is a great place for wildlife viewing. You can fish, birdwatch (look for bald eagles), run, access the river and lake, among other things. You cannot bring your dog along.

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McArthur-Burney Falls RV Camping

McArthur-Burney Falls RV Camping
McArthur-Burney Falls RV Camping

There is Burney Falls RV camping available in the park. Beginning in April there is a high number of visitors that flock to this clean campground, which continues through October.

Expect summer weekends to be very crowded.

Burney Falls RV camping is only available to rigs smaller than 32 feet. Oversized rigs are only available to enter the Lake Britton area on weekend days (including Fridays) to complete the 1.5-mile hike to the falls from the parking lot.

Animals are not permitted on trails and cannot be left alone in vehicles. They can only be out in the parking area while being watched. If you must bring pets along on your trip, you need a backup plan for someone to watch them while out hiking.

Other Burney Falls RV camping amenities include:

  • Campsites
  • RV Campsites
  • Tent Sites
  • Visitor Center
  • Beach Area
  • Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Easy access to Burney Falls Trail
  • Dump Station
  • Horseback Trails
  • Camp Store
  • Boat Ramp

History of the Park

The park has a very interesting history. It was named after a pioneer settler called Samuel Burney that lived in the vicinity around the 1850s and the McArthurs that were pioneers in the late 1800s.

The descendants of both families preserved the waterfall and surrounding areas from being developed. They purchased the property and gave ownership to the government as a gift in the 1920s.

Special Events

Every year on Columbus Day weekend, the park hosts a special event. Heritage Day features demonstrations, art, crafts, and recreation celebrating common activities of the people that lived during the 19th century.

It is the ideal place to see history come to life!

Other Camping and Places to See

Other Campgrounds

If you are unable to camp at the park or are interested in other nearby areas, I have outlined some different points of interest.

North Shore Camping

North Shore Campground is located on Lake Britton. Located across the water from McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, it is a short 6-mile drive from the park.

The campground is located in a forested area and features 30 campsites. There is a 2-night minimum.

Campsites include picnic tables, a fire ring with a grill, food storage cabinet. There are no hookups, so you will have to dry camp.

The campground has tap water, vault toilets, flush toilets, and an amphitheater.

Hat Creek Hereford RV Park & Campground

This wonderful place features many RV campsites on grass. Featuring full hookups, a sandy beach, picnic areas, a fishing pond, and much more. Check them out today!

Lassen National Forest

The 1,700 square mile Lassen National Forest is home to Mount Lassen and the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Come hike, visit and learn more about this intriguing volcanic landscape.

I love all of our wonderful national parks, especially ones with spooky or otherwise interesting things to see. Lassen Volcanic Park is one of those and will not disappoint!

Have You Been Burney Falls RV Camping?

Please share your experience in the comments! Let us know if there are any favorite things to do in the area that we didn't cover.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2021-07-08

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “Camping at Magnificent McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park”

July 26, 2021at2:34 am, Carlene jarrell said:

I was born and raised in Burney ca the park was about 25 min away from me we went there all the time it’s beautiful never no what you had its gone enjoyed many family events if you get a chance to visit do you will love it


July 08, 2021at10:04 am, MaryJane said:

FYI on the campground at Burney Falls, the trails around Burney Falls and Lake Britton:
You can have your dog TIED UP at your campsite but you can’t take them on the TRAILS, in any buildings, or on the BEACH at the lake. Also, Lake Britton is known to have the BLUE-GREEN ALGAE which is poisonous to dogs and to humans who get into the water and especially consume any water. BEWARE!


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