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Beale Falls

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Highlights:

Hills, meadow, woods, & rocks lead to 100-foot waterfall.
Near:Smartville, CA
Scenery:
Distance:5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:267 ft
Hike Time:2.5 hours
Difficulty:Easy
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back



Summary: 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!
Trailhead: 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. (Lat:39.11407 Lon:-121.26812)
Trail Guides for Beale Falls:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: California Department of Fish & Game, Spenceville Area Manager (530) 538-2236
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Greg Chance, who has posted  8 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 5   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Michelle on 5/23/2012
Directions: Drive East on Hammonton/Smartville Rd. from Marysville. Go past first Beale AFB sign near the airfield. Turn right on CHUCK YEAGER RD (used to be Smartville Rd.) where the sign that says Beale AFB is (you are heading toward BAFB). 5 miles to Waldo Rd (before sign that says something like "no through traffic"). Turn left on Waldo, cross the one-lane bridge and turn left (Spenceville Rd.?). Drive past the small dirt hill on the left (shooting range, there may be cars parked). Keep left when there is a fork in the road. DO NOT DRIVE TO WOODEN BRIDGE, it no longer exists. Drive til you see a turnout/parking area on the left that has a concrete bridge with a yellow gate, park there. Small sign in parking lot says Fairy Falls Trailhea

Reviewed by joe on 4/2/2012
i was stationed at beale from may 1984 to aug 1991 myself and several freinds from the base would go and have barbaques there good times and memories. very quite and peaceful.

Reviewed by Ryan on 12/13/2011
Have hiked and biked this trail several times. I think it is best in the spring, when the wildflowers are in full display. I have a couple of comments on the description and directions. The only place I have seen this called Beale Falls is in this hike description. Old maps of the area call it Fairy Falls or Shingle Falls. For more info, map, history etc. see the Friends of Spenceville web site at http://www.spenceville.org/. Info includes other trails, and this hike can be done as a loop. Road names have changed. Driving east from Marysville/Linda on Hammonton-Smartville Rd, go about 10 miles to a fork in the road. Go right on Chuck Yeager Road. At the next fork, go left onto Waldo Road.

Reviewed by Guy on 10/10/2011
This hike leaves something to be desired. It is mostly just a dirt road for 2/3 of the entire hike. Not much to look at along the way. Maybe a few spots that you walk along a creek but nothing too exciting. Towards the end there are a few spots to go to the creek, which is nice. At the end, where the falls are, it is extremely rocky. Actually getting to an area where you can see the falls can be difficult for anyone with reservations about slippery rocks or "get on all fours" climbing. Probably will not hike again. Yes the directions to get to the trailhead are a little confusing. If you have a GPS use the lat long provided in the "Trailhead" section.

Reviewed by shannon on 9/27/2011
Waldo road is on the left side right before beal's AFB. Its the only dirt/gravel road that connects to smartsville. Upon entering Waldo you will immediatetly see a shooting range to the left, continue pass the shooting range all the way staright to the end where you will see a wooden one lane bridge. After crossing the bridge make a left onto spenceville. You will come to another road on the right which gets kind of confusing of which one to follow, just stay towards the left road and continue until you come to a big one turn out on the left for parking. There's a yellow gate with the sign "Fairy Falls." Hope this helps. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Jessica on 7/3/2011
Once u are driving on Hammonton/Smartsville road, depending on which way u are coming, u will turn onto Chuck Yeager road. U will continue down Chuck Yeager road until u r almost to the base. Waldo rd is on the left (it's a dirt road but clearly marked) hope that helps!

Reviewed by Alicia on 6/16/2011
CAUTION: there is NO Waldo Road?! I drove all the way through Smartville (obviously too far) and down multiple roads I never saw Waldo Road off of Hmnt-Smrtvlle Road. Can anyone lend some help when coming from Marysville? Thanks!

Reviewed by Jen on 5/29/2011
I have to say thanks to Adam who left a great description of how to find the trail and how to stay on it! Seemingly renamed Fairy Falls (by the few signs up) was a great walk, ending in a hike to get to the falls at the end! A lovely May morning was perfect for toe dipping on the way down. Just like other comments - started the hike at 10am as the only car in the parking lot, and 3 hrs later when we returned - about 25 cars! Great exercise, lovely views, wear sunscreen!


Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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