Feather Falls Trailhead Rd., Oroville, California
Gleaming like a glass skyscraper, the three tiers of Feather Falls plunge 640 feet into a valley cut into the Sierra foothills.
Hikers can take a moderate-level well-marked trail leading through sparse manzanita and pine chaparral to an observation deck with a spectacular top-to-bottom view of the falls. Hikers should plan on an afternoon to make the seven-mile round-trip and be sure to carry plenty of water. The best seasons to visit are in the spring, when wildflowers provide a painter’s palette of colors, and in autumn when the trees are adorned with reds and golds.
The scenic area, which encompasses 15,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest, includes a number of other hiking trails, scenic spots, and campgrounds. The three branches of the Feather River (whose middle fork is fed by the falls) afford some of the most challenging whitewater rafting in the state. Downstream are calmer stretches of water for canoeing or kayaking.