Fairy Falls Trail (AKA Beal Falls or Shingle Falls)

Penn Valley, CA
Share review on:

Thanks! How would you describe the trail and its activities?

Join the largest community of outdoor enthusiasts.

Get Started

Upgrade to Pro

Unlimited access to National Geographic TOPO! & Trails Illustrated Maps

Learn More »

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!

Drive East on Hammonton/Smartville Rd. from Marysville East. Turn right on Smartville Rd. at the Beale AFB exit. 5 miles to Waldo Rd.. Turn left on Waldo Rd., which is a dirt road. Cross the one-lane bridge and turn left. Drive to dead end at wooden bridge. This is the trailhead.

California Department of Fish & Game, Spenceville Area Manager (530) 538-2236

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

14 Completed 4 Reviews

Great hike. Easy route and beautiful falls. Lots of geocaches out here as well.

Icon_


N/A:

7 Completed 3 Reviews

Beautiful, easy spring time trail. Flowers and birds in abundance lending a magical quality to parts of the trail. The falls at the turn around point are a perfect picnic spot or you can walk down to the bottom of the falls for nice creek side rock hopping.

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Beautiful

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

8 Completed 8 Reviews

Person_placeholder


N/A:

3 Completed 1 Reviews

Did this hike last weekend, the weather was beautiful and the falls and streams were flowing. The most efficient route is to take the upper loop to the falls, after what appears to be a daunting initial climb it really flattens out and ends at the top of the falls, from that point it's all down hill for the most part if you take the lower loop back to the trail head. Lots of cows and horses. Enjoy!

Picture?width=50&height=50


N/A:

30 Completed 3 Reviews

Went trail running. Really nice area. The hunters are a little unnerving...don't trust their shooting judgement as I have been accidentally shot at before in other areas. It is worth the small risk in hunting season, though. If you're nervous, wear bright colored clothes or hat. Lots of single track horse trails around here that would be great for mountain biking too!!

Person_placeholder


N/A:

6 Completed 1 Reviews

Lovely, easy hike. Had the trail pretty much to ourselves. A few horses and riders. A few hunters out, but no worries on the trial. Our dog LOVED it. Quite pretty and serene in the fall even without the touted wildflowers. We'll be back in the spring for them.

Icon_


N/A:

26 Completed 21 Reviews

Cool hike while surrounded by turkey hunters the falls are nice high drops but the water is a murky brown all Ana all I had a beautiful eight mile hike

Person_placeholder


N/A:

1 Completed 1 Reviews

Took the family up there this last weekend only to meet by a closed from March-April 2013. Funny thing is, its August, 2013. Disappointing to say the least.

Person_placeholder


N/A:

16 Completed 10 Reviews

Follow the directions as outlined by Michelle below. Once you turn left on Waldo road it is 4.2 miles total to the trailhead parking lot. Go 1.9 mi on this road and you will cross a single lane bridge and then turn left onto Spencer Road. From there it is 2.3 mi to the trailhead parking lot on left for a total of 4.2 mi. Go Through the yellow gate and cross the Stone Bridge then turn right. Stay on the dirt road. There will be several optional unmarked trails to the right. The dirt road is the most direct. Follow the fairy falls trail signs. The last sign that you will come to crosses the dirt road and is at a fork. The sign is misleading in that it suggests the one to the left is upper and the one to the right is lower. This is incorrect. The road will take you directly to the lower Falls and the fork to the right will take you to the upper falls. The most direct route is the road to the lower falls and then you can take any of the trails to the upper falls from there.

Support