Often described as one of the most beautiful falls in the world, 129-foot Burney Falls is accessible in a state park far removed from a major thoroughfare. Continuing northward along Highway 89 in California, we wanted to make the falls a stopping point. Meltwater from Burney Mountain makes its way down through the porous volcanic rock (basalt) down into underground aquifers. Some of the water is forced above ground about a mile up from the falls and forms Burney Creek, while the rest of it moves through the underground reservoir and out the openings in the cliff face. If you look squarely at the falls, the water seems to originate not only from above but also from the rock wall. Even when the creek dries up during the summer, water continues to flow because of these underground channels. The flow rate is estimated to be 100 millions gallons per day.
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