Burstarse Falls

Trail Highlights

LocationCastle Crags
Length4.6 miles (round trip via Dog Trail)
Elevation gain / max1,400′ / 3,200′
When to goYear-round, best late spring
Dogs allowed?Yes (this trail only, not in Castle Crags SP)
Other restrictionsSite-specific restrictions

Burstarse Falls are a series of falls in a small area accessible from the PCT north of Castle Crags State Park.  It is most easily accessed from the Dog Trailhead, just north of the Castle Crags State Park boundary.  Dog trail quickly climbs 0.6 mile up to the PCT which is then followed for 1.6 miles to Burstarse Creek with occasional glimpses of the Crags above.  All of the falls require some off trail scrambling to see.

Trail Map

Other Maps

Printable CalTopo PDF


Trail Details

Highlights of this trail near Castle Crags include a beautiful and secluded waterfall views of the Crags and other nearby peaks, and clear mountain streams.

Follow the below directions to reach the Dog Trailhead parking area. The trail begins on the west side of the parking area and climbs steeply .6 mile to reach the Pacific Crest Trail. Travel a gently rising mile through a mixed forest of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, incense cedar, and black oak to Popcorn Spring. Continue another .8 mile to a first encounter with Burstarse Creek.

Hike past it on the PCT and go .3 mile to Ugly Creek. Continue another .1 mile to a point where the trail makes a 180-degree turn. Here you leave the PCT and scramble down to Burstarse Creek. (Keep a close watch for loose rocks and poison oak.) Follow the creek uphill 100 yards to the seclusion and beauty of the 40-foot waterfall.

For variety on the way back, continue south on the PCT after the Dog Trail intersection for 1 mile (crossing the two branches of Sulphur Creek). After crossing Sulphur Creek follow an obvious, but unsigned trail, along the east side of Sulphur Creek back to the paved road. (See the CalTopo map or use the OSM map layer in AllTrails)

Specific Trail Rules: Specific rules for this trail / area may be found here.

Controlling Agency:
Mount Shasta Ranger Station,
Shasta-Trinity National Forest,
204 West Alma, Mount Shasta, CA 96067
(530) 926-4511 www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity

Directions to Trailhead

  • Take the Castella exit off I-5, about 6 miles south of Dunsmuir.
  • Drive west 3.2 miles on Castle Creek Road and then turn right into a large clearing.

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