Fairy Falls Trail (AKA Beal Falls or Shingle Falls)

MODERATE
Penn Valley, CA
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Fairy Falls Trail (AKA Beal Falls or Shingle Falls) is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Penn Valley, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible from May until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

5.1 miles 367 feet Loop
dog friendly hiking mountain biking walking horses river views waterfall wild flowers wildlife
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Also known as Ferry Falls; Hills, meadow, woods, & rocks lead to 100-foot waterfall. Formerly owned by Beale, this land was once home to a mock German town for training during WWII. Lots of protected wildlife within. Small shooting range 1/4 mile up Waldo Rd. before reaching the trailhead. This isn't the most difficult hike in the world, but it's one of my favorites. The terrain is extremely varied for such a small hike. You start at an abandoned mine at the site of an old town known as Spenceville. As you walk the dirt road, you see pass a creek and cross rolling hills. At the end of the road, you turn right and pass through a metal gate. Once past the gate, you climb a hill and emerge on a grassy meadow and a cattle crossing. At the edge of the meadow is a trail that leads through a wooded area and finally exits at a great swimming hole along the creek. After a refreshing dip, follow the trail along the creekside and up the hill. Climb over the rocks and you're at the overlook for Beale Falls. You can either walk around the other side of the hill and to the top of the falls, or walk the steep trail next to the protective fence. Either way, it's a great place to eat lunch. When it's all over, head back the way you came!

Carrie Zembiec
1 day ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Nice hike, spring flowers, waterfall flowing very well, lower pond a good area to have lunch and put your feet in the water. Only met 4 other hikers.

Ruben Dominguez
8 days ago

12 Completed2 Reviews

Jennifer Bernard
16 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Bill Clements
17 days ago

24 Completed5 Reviews

Loved it!

Justine Phulps
19 days ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

This trail was awesome! I've never been hiking before and I handled it no problem. My girl friends and I took the trail to the upper falls and climbed down to the water, be careful because it's easy to fall. On our way back up, we went down the hill to the lower falls. Not so much fun coming back up but we got through it.

Cindy Rohrenbach
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful!

Destrey Robbins
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Pat Dow
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

I went with a friend and her 3 granddaughters. Hank and Toby also came with us. They are our dogs. The wild flowers were in bloom so took too many pics. The trail was very nice and easy . Saw some poison oak along the way. There were cows in the pasture. They caused no problems, except for Hank. He decided to roll in the manure, so threw him in the river to wash him off. We took a lunch and there were plenty of places to have lunch by river. Great day!

Jessica Maynard
1 month ago

2 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful hike. The falls are gorgeous. I can't wait to go again. Towards the end of the drive the road is very bumpy and dusty!

Mark Cornell
1 month ago

4 Completed0 Reviews

Great hike with the falls going strong! Beware of the angry cows and their evil eyes. Drive safe the road is unpaved for the last bit of the drive with lots of potholes. Dog friendly and lot of great views.

Patrick Edwards
1 month ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Great mostly level walk.

Amy A
2 months ago

8 Completed0 Reviews

Catherine Lopez
2 months ago

3 Completed2 Reviews

Nice Sunday afternoon walk . . . not too many people . . . everything was green, cows were about, and the weather was perfect.

Mniska Lamb
2 months ago

1 Completed0 Reviews

Beautiful. Super mellow. Not too busy. Glad I did it.

Amber Willis
5 months ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

The road about 15 min to trail is really really bumpy! Our little car made it but whoo was it rocky. The drive was worth it. Just went last week. Nice fall day not too hot. I can see it getting pretty hot in summer. Did read some reviews saying this place is haunted. Did feel like we had to look over our shoulders a few times or look back. Did not see anyone out there besides on the way back. Very secluded. Overall very pretty. We went on the lower trail and there was a short part of the trail which looked like it was washed away. Felt like walking on a slant. The waterfall was goregous! Sorta creepy and a great reminder with the cross at the top of a grave site to be very careful. Dont think I would ever jump or swim in there because of how darl the water was though. Overall great hike cool pretty purple ground every once in a while.

Candace Amundson
5 months ago

16 Completed11 Reviews

Gps does not work - I could give lots of directions but instead I will just say find the written directions online and follow them. The hike is fine once your there but the road getting there simply sucks. The hike itself is not that interesting but the falls are awesome!!! Hike down but be careful the rocks are beyond slick - have fu.

Jamie Kealoha
6 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Amber Oglesby
6 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

James Rafael
7 months ago

7 Completed1 Reviews

Drove here heading North on 65. My mapping program was correct on the route (but way off on ETA because it thought you could drive all the way to the falls itself). The best route would be through the base (not sure if that is allowed) so the mapping programs all route around it. I've attached the GPS coordinates for the parking lot on Google Maps so you map from your starting point. The last few miles are dirt road, but the road is very hard packed. We were in a regular car and there was no issues. Just before the parking lot we did see hunters unpacking (including their rifles) and there was signs posted that hunting was allowed on the trail, but we did not see any hunters (or deer). Also heard no gunfire on the hike, but from the parking lot you can hear the range off in the distance. The trail itself has great trail signs (as there are some interesting looking offshoots this is important).

The hike itself was great. We started off at around 10:30AM and did not see a soul until we were nearly done our hike (perfect). There were patches of rolling grassland, followed by treed areas, followed by rocky outcroppings. If you don't like the view, walk a half mile. The area around the falls is very rugged (which is good, you are in nature) so keep you kids close. On a hot summer day I would be tempted to go for a swim. Except for right in front of the falls the trail is very wide and smooth (not any extreme hills).

I would call it an easy and worthwhile hike. The few miles of gravel road and relative remoteness make for a quiet hike where you can really feel like you are all alone in the world.

Jesska Fowler
7 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Kind of difficult to find while driving there, but so worth it!! When you come to a fork in the road, follow the purple dirt!! Dog friendly, cool swimming spots, easy hike overall