Popular California Waterfall Destination Closes for Repairs Due to Crowds

A popular waterfall destination in the California State Parks system is essentially closed for the 2024 season. Park officials say they’re shutting down a big part of the park’s trail system. In a press release, the state announced the closure of trails at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. Those trails lead to Burney Falls.

Here are the trails that are closed:

  • Falls Loop Trail
  • Burney Creek Trail
  • Visitors will have no access to the waterfall or fall’s pool area, with limited views from the viewing area at the top of the falls.
(Source: California State Parks)

California State Parks says the $835,000 project will keep the trails closed through the Summer and likely into the fall season. The closure is to tackle repairs and make improvements due to high visitation in the area. 

Burney Falls and the McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park are in the northern part of the state. The park is not far from the state line with Oregon. 

While the falls are the park’s centerpiece, other areas are still open, including campgrounds, a general store, and several other trails. The Pacific Crest Trail also goes through the park via the Fisherman’s Bridge, which will remain open. So, the closure shouldn’t impact thru-hikers. 

California State Park Visitors

Like many outdoor spaces, the park has seen a significant increase in visitors. The crowds peak from April through October. The park has seen struggles not only with trail overuse but also with parking issues. Park officials want to remind visitors to avoid parking illegally because vehicles can be towed. 

California State Parks saw 68 million visitors in 2019. According to media reports, the park system has not released any updated numbers since then, but numbers did rise through the pandemic, just like park systems around the country saw. With more than 200 destinations in the park system, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park ranked 74th with more than 240,000 visitors.

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