Bear River Falls

Nevada City, California

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A short walk along the interpretive Sierra Discovery Trail leads to a pretty waterfall and provides a lesson in emigrant history. Hold out your left hand, palm up, fingers spread. Now picture this: Mount Shasta is at the tip of your thumb. Lassen Peak is at the tip of your index finger. The Sutter Buttes are on your palm. And the major rivers draining the watersheds of the Sierra Nevada into the mighty Sacramento—the Pit, the Feather, the Yuba, the American—flow down the gaps, watering the Great Valley at California’s heart. Talk about falling water … This image is but one that is described on the interpretive displays at the beginning of the Sierra Discovery Trail. In addition to the hydrology lesson on your fingertips, you can also learn about the Native peoples who hunted and foraged in the High Sierra, the emigrants who made their way through the dangerous mountain gaps (they lowered their wagons 700 feet into the Bear River valley!), the wildlife and plant life that thrives in the woods and meadows, and the hydroelectric power generated by the water that flows out of the high country.
Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California

by Tracy Salcedo-Chourré (Falcon Guides)

A short walk along the interpretive Sierra Discovery Trail leads to a pretty waterfall and provides a lesson in emigrant history.

Hold out your left hand, palm up, fingers spread. Now picture this: Mount Shasta is at the tip of your thumb. Lassen Peak is at the tip of your index finger. The Sutter Buttes are on your palm. And the major rivers draining the watersheds of the Sierra Nevada into the mighty Sacramento—the Pit, the Feather, the Yuba, the American—flow down the gaps, watering the Great Valley at California’s heart. Talk about falling water …

This image is but one that is described on the interpretive displays at the beginning of the Sierra Discovery Trail. In addition to the hydrology lesson on your fingertips, you can also learn about the Native peoples who hunted and foraged in the High Sierra, the emigrants who made their way through the dangerous mountain gaps (they lowered their wagons 700 feet into the Bear River valley!), the wildlife and plant life that thrives in the woods and meadows, and the hydroelectric power generated by the water that flows out of the high country.

© 2015 Tracy Salcedo-Chourré/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Nevada City
Distance: 1.1
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2-3 hours
Season: Year-round
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: PG&E Bear Valley Recreation Area; (530) 389-2236. Tahoe National Forest, Nevada City Ranger District, 631 Coyote St., Nevada City, CA 95959; (530) 265-4531; www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe/
Local Maps: USGS Blue Canyon CA; trail map on information signboards at the trailhead
Driving Directions: Directions to Bear River Falls

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Apr 2018