This Adventurer goes over (to) the Falls…. McArthur Burney Falls that is.
by Laurie Pedrick
Our Fishin' Friend!
McArthur Burney Falls
The Trail from Lake Britton to Camp
For quite some time we have wanted to go to McArthur Burney Falls but it just never seemed to be a good time. Well, this past weekend we rectified that. This is a fantastic State Park and while it was a bit pricey when you consider there are no hookups… the Falls certainly made this trip well worth it. We drove up from Reno via US 395 to CA36 to CA 44 to CA89 and altogether the trip took about 3 and a quarter hours.
We added a few things since the last trip (Davis Creek - From Fifth Wheel to Slide In – This couples experiences in their new Adventurer 86FB). We purchased a wood top for the stove… do I really need to tell you to let the cook top cool before you put it back on? This handy top is great for food prep and just counter space in general. While the original foldable metal top was ok – I had already scratched it and it seemed a bit flimsy. This will do nicely, thanks very much. You can find a product like this on one of several websites – mine came from that big A site.
So what other goodies did we add to make things just a little easier for us in such a compact space? In all the cabinets we added additional shelving by placing the expandable wire ones into them. Did not quite double our capacity, but does make getting stuff out easier. I also added the non slide shelf stuff. This makes things stay where you put it and was an inexpensive way to keep items from pummeling me in the head! The little step we added for ease to get into and out of the cab over bed works like a charm. This shorter person is grateful for that. What do I still need to add? I need a small mechanical timer to keep track of my French press coffee pot…. a spoon cozy or two. A food flipper for use just in the camper – if you have never seen one – I can’t recommend this product enough. Great for turning bacon, fried chicken, steaks on the BBQ – a must have.
So back to the Falls. What a sight! We arrived after the moon had already risen and the two loops that were open were almost completely full. We did find a short site and got ourselves leveled and ready to prepare dinner in a relatively short amount of time. A few things to note – I did call the Rangers Station earlier in the day and they told me we could fill our water tank at the park. Problem is they did not say where … ok…I didn’t ask either! So for those of you like me – the water is at the dump station – a separate line is provided there to fill your tanks. Keep that in mind before you search for a site. Wood is available at three locations – and they do provide a nice sized bundle for only $8 which was pretty reasonable. If you check in after hours, you just use the envelope to fill out your site number and amount paid. After dinner we took a walk and enjoyed the roaring of the Falls the sounds of children enjoying their smores ‘round the campfire. You could hear the crackle of logs burning in the fire rings and the pungent smell of campfires all around. Quiet time begins at 10pm – but no operating generators after 8pm. We walked out to the Falls overlook and even in the dark they are amazing – the moon had risen and cast a pale glow on the waterfalls. After our walk we climbed into our bed and slept till 8 the next morning! All that fresh air must have worn us out.
We decided to take the Falls Trail path that goes behind the Falls and ends at the base of the waterfalls. Rumor has it that the falls were actually the inspiration for the waterfall on the older Coors cans – but I have not been able to confirm this. This is probably just another urban legend. The old timer who was parked next to us told us that. He has been coming to Burney Falls since the early 1960’s….almost before I was born. This is a well maintained path and we met up with a fellow who had caught his limit for the day and they were beauties. I will include that shot – what a nice man he was. It is wonderful to see the gentler side of folks when you go camping. They are not rushed, they are not in a hurry – they are just taking in the wonders of nature and de-stressing. The path was just reworked last year and they have done a great job, but it has some steep sections and we were fortunate that it was not crowded – we took over 400 photos in just our two day stay. After that hike, we headed to the great little store they have right in the park and purchased a pin to memorialize our visit and a couple of plastic mugs for having our morning coffee. We had our lunch and then took a walk down to Lake Britton. There is a very nice picnic area, a boat launch and they also have docks and an observation platform to look out over the lake. Very nicely done and well maintained. I’d like to tip my hat to the people who work at this park as it is clean, they are friendly and helpful. It was a great thing to see. We walked back to our campsite via the nature trail and took many photos along the way. I wish I could share more of them with you all.
Saturday evening we took our cameras back down to the base of the Falls and did some time exposure shots – but I will be honest, I was not prepared for the amount of mist in the air. The shots came out OK – but I would have liked them to be better.
We left Burney Falls and went home through the Lassen National Forest. The admission to the park is $10 and allows us access for 7 days. The scenery here is breath taking. Stop by the Visitors Center and stay for the show – it’s great. This drive is very winding and the top elevation is just over 8500 feet. If altitude bothers you, this part of the road trip is not for you. There are lots of interesting things to see in the park – it had snowed a few days before and so some areas where no longer accessible until spring – but we will be back and I will write a review of this location as well. There are a few campgrounds within the park but most close due to snow in the winter months. The sites here are not large – but that is why we got the slide in – to go places the fifth wheel can’t. On the way back to Reno we passed by Lake Almanor – which is another great location to visit… another time I guess.
Until the next trip……….. Stay safe.
Laurie and JP The Cruisin Campers
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