• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Burney Falls in Northern California will be closed all summer.

Burney Falls in Northern California will be closed all summer.

Sorry, tourists and TikTokkers.

Burney Falls, a secluded Northern California waterfall that became too Instagram-famous for its own good, will be closed all summer because of trail and slope damage caused by heavy crowds and erosion from recent storms, the California Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday.

The main trails within McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park that provide access to the waterfall are expected to close by April 1.

The closures are expected to last all summer and probably into the fall while crews repair and rebuild trails and natural slopes as part of an $835,000 project that will include the installation of retaining walls and guardrails, according to the parks department.

Located in rugged Shasta County, Burney Falls — a 129-foot wall of water that President Theodore Roosevelt once dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World” — has been a local secret for much of its history.

But during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was a rush to outdoor recreation, visitors flocked to the falls and posted their selfies to Instagram, and in came the crowds.

The waterfall, after all, generates its own rainbow. How’s that for #nofilter?

The state park, in the foothills of the Cascade range about an hour east of Redding, typically had about 250,000 visitors a year, but that number swelled to 350,000 when the pandemic began, said Aaron Wright, public safety chief for the Northern Buttes District of the state parks department.

Visitors have repeatedly walked off the established trails, damaging plants and making erosion a problem, Wright said.

Both the Falls Loop Trail and the Burney Creek Trail will be closed. Visitors will have no access to the waterfall or its pool area this summer.

Other portions of the state park — including the Rim and Pioneer campgrounds, the Burney Falls General Store and the visitor center — will remain open, according to the parks department.

The Rim, PSEA , Headwaters and Pioneer Cemetery trails will remain open, as will the Fisherman’s Bridge.

In addition to the work at Burney Falls, State Highway 89 — one of the county’s main thoroughfares, where traffic slows to a crawl when the waterfall crowds get too big — will be undergoing a “major rehabilitation” around the same time the trails are being repaired, according to the parks department.

The department’s statement included a photo of a state parks ranger writing citations for cars illegally parked along the highway, next to a sign that says, in red letters, “NO PARKING ANY TIME.”

The Highway 89 construction, the statement read, “will significantly add traffic congestion, delays, and intermittent traffic closures near the park entrance.”

In other words: Think twice before coming.

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