I was trying to find this waterfall in my photo database, and was having a bit of a difficult time, and then I remembered…this is the waterfall with many names. Shingle Falls is also known as Beale Falls, Dry Falls, and Fairy Falls. But don’t let that one slightly confusing aspect stop you from visiting the falls.
I visited the falls just over one year ago in March 2016. I decided to split these out as two separate falls, the Lower Shingle Falls described here and the Upper Shingle Falls described previously. (Information about the drive and trail are found there, so check that out.) While both falls are close to each other, you can’t see both falls at the same time, and they have different enough personalities that they should be distinct. The upper falls do require just a bit more effort to get to, depending on the path you take.
At this time in March 2016, the rains had started. Both Upper and Lower Shingle Falls were impressive. The ground was slippery enough that it made the hike to the falls (and between the falls) rather muddy and slippery. I had hurt my knee the day before, and going downhill between to get from the Upper to Lower Falls was somewhat painful. Add some crazy cows to the mix, and it was definitely a memorable hike in a beautiful area.
- There are a number of different ways to arrive at the falls, though they all lead in the same general direction. I was on CA-70 and entered the town of Marysville. I then took a left onto CA-20 (which you could follow toward the same set of roads).
- I turned left onto Ramirez Street, which turned into Simpson St.
- I then turned left onto Hammonton Smartsville Road. This is the road to focus on, because you will likely end up on this at some point, no matter the path.
- I drove just about 15 miles to the intersection of Hammonton Smartsville Road and turned right onto Chuck Yeager Road.
- I then drove 4.5 mile south on Chuck Yeager Road to Waldo Road. Waldo Road is a dirt road to your left, and it was somewhat easy to miss.
- Turn left on Waldo Road, and drive for two miles.
- Then take a left on Spencerville Road. Drive another 2 miles to the “end” of Spencerville Road. You will end up at a bridge that you cannot drive over and a large parking area.
- From this parking area, start along your journey. Cross the bridge over Dry Creek, and take a right immediately after crossing the bridge. You are actually still on Spencerville Road, just hiking now.
- Walk about a mile or so, and you will see a white fence/guardrail to your right that you can open. Turn right along this path, and walk along what is the obviously beaten path.
- After a 0.2 miles or so, you’ll see signs for the Upper and Lower Falls, each branching off. You will also be able to continue along a wider path to the falls. (The cows were on the wide path.) As long as you follow the creek, it tends to be difficult to miss the falls.
Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate, depends on the path, whether there are cows, and the last few hundred feet are uphill for sure, though less so for the Lower Falls)
Hike: ~5 miles round trip
Where in the World is Lower Shingle Falls?