This stream is within the Cascade Range and Modoc Plateau natural region of Northern California. It originates from underground springs and flows to Lake Britton, getting larger along the way to Burney Falls.
This volcanic region is surrounded by mountain peaks and is covered by black volcanic rock, or basalt. Created over a million years ago, the layered, porous basalt retains rainwater and snow melt, which forms a large underground reservoir. The water then emerges as springs at and above Burney Falls, where it flows at 100 million gallons every day.