Feather Falls Trail

Plumas National Forest, California

Distance6.7mi
Elevation Gain2,836ft
Trailhead Elevation1,845ft
Top2,518ft
Elevation Min/Max1845/2518ft
Elevation Start/End1845/1845ft

Feather Falls Trail

Feather Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Butte County, California. It is within Plumas National Forest. It is 6.7 miles long and begins at 1,845 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 7.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,836 feet.

Feather Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

101 Hikes in Northern California: Exploring Mountains, Valleys, and Seashore (Wilderness Press)
Matt Heid
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"On the western flanks of the northern Sierra Nevada, Feather Falls Scenic Area protects 15,000 acres of diverse forest and lush scenery. Its highlight is a spectacular overlook of Feather Falls dropping 640 feet down a sheer cliff face. An unusual range of forest diversity provides a secondary bonus; more than 180 species of flowers, 17 species of trees, 20 shrubs, 11 vines, and 10 ferns have all been identified along this hike." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in Northern California (The Mountaineers Books)
John R. Soares & Marc J. Soares
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"This hike offers a smorgasbord of natural delights. You’ll walk through tall stands of incense cedar and ponderosa pine, along streams shaded by bigleaf maple and dogwood, and past a multitude of spring and early summer wildflowers to Feather Falls, where the clear waters of Fall River drop 640 feet into a granitic gorge. Feather Falls’ 640-foot drop makes it the sixth highest waterfall in the United States." Read more
Best Dog Hikes Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Linda B. Mullally and David S. Mullally
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"On some hikes the journey is as much a highlight as the destination. This is not one of those hikes. Although the trail is relatively undistinguishable with a run-of-the mill mix of deciduous and coniferous woodland, it’s easy on your dog’s paws. And what dog doesn’t love to have his senses flooded with new smells? He won’t be impressed by the waterfall or one of the best waterfall- viewing decks in the country, but you will. The Feather Falls National Recreation Trail gives you the opportunity to enjoy this stunning 620-foot waterfall from a unique perspective, thanks to a daring deck design with the added bonus of sharing the experience with your dog." Read more
Best Hikes With Dogs: San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond (The Mountaineers Books)
Jason Fator
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"The road to the falls is narrow, steep, and winding and the hike is long, but the payoff for this journey is huge. As you and your dog rest at the falls’ dramatic vista point, you’ll be awestruck at the images and sounds of huge sheets of white water cascading off the sheer cliff face." Read more
Hiking Waterfalls in Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Tracy Salcedo-Chourré
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"Fine trails lead down to a spectacular overlook of Feather Falls and the Middle Fork Feather River canyon. This is a great trail to a great waterfall. It’s as simple and as perfect as that. The Feather Falls National Scenic Trail is straightforward, nicely maintained, and eminently pleasant, though it can be a chore in hot weather. It passes through a forest of mixed evergreens—oaks, pines, firs, and the occasional incense cedar and madrone—to an overlook on a rock promontory: Look one direction onto Feather Falls, a mighty horsetail plunging more than 600 feet down a vertical rock face, and then swing around and gaze in the other direction down the Middle Fork Feather River canyon, steep-walled, remote, and ringing with the thunder of the river and falls." Read more
Hiking Northern California (Falcon Guides)
Bubba Suess
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"Feather Falls is one of the great waterfalls of California. The loop hike to the falls features lush foothill forests, large creeks, and views of the Middle Fork of the Feather River’s deep canyon crowned by Bald Rock Dome. The highlight is awesome Feather Falls, thundering hundreds of feet down a sheer cliff. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are generally not known for spectacle and grandeur, descriptives usually saved for the range’s magnificent high country. Feather Falls may be the most spectacular destination in all of the foothills. Indeed, it is one of the few waterfalls in California, or anywhere else in the United States, that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the waterfalls of Yosemite. Plunging 410 feet down a vertical cliff, it is an incredible and humbling sight. Yet for all their beauty, the falls are only part of the charm of this excellent hike in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Peaceful forests surround crashing creeks and part sporadically to produce great views of the Feather River, its deep canyon, and prominent Bald Rock Dome." Read more

Feather Falls Trail Reviews

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7/27/2018
I love this trail, it is beautiful! The challenges here are fun, not overly difficult. It is definitely long and can be taxing, but water and patience bring about a fantastic reward. The waterfalls are so majestically tall, and views are incredible.
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5/27/2018
Great hike and wonderful scenery!!!
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3/21/2009
Beautiful hike with a perfect waterfall at the end. I took the 4.5 in and the 3.3 out as recommended. The 3.3 was short but difficult. If anything it was a great workout. I would try the 4.5 in and the 4.5 out next time I go.
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3/14/2009
While most people tend to begin to head back after going on the lookout point, you actually have the chance to stand right over the end of the waterfall. Luckily they've installed a chainlink fence their to prevent you from falling, as you literally peer off the end of the cliff. Quite a scenic hike, and a beautiful representation of Northern California.
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1/19/2009
Great Hike. I take the longer route in and shorter route out. The last 1-2miles of short route is a great workout and a great way to end this hike. The views are stunning along the way. If you decide to hike to the back of the falls you will be rewarded. We were able to enjoy it and being this time of year there were very few people we came across.
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4/13/2008
Ok this was my second weekend in a row going to the falls. The first time we didn't leave early enough to hangout and explore. Well we didn't the second time either but we stayed longer anyway, In the midst of the trail blazers I say "take your time." there is so much to see. This is definitely one for enjoying the journey and the destination. All kinds of life out there. I was really disappointed about the amount of trash. We picked up as much as we could so I suggest everyone bring a trash bag with them and help out a little on the return hike. We cannot necessarily stop jerks from being jerks but we can keep our lands clean. Oh and watch out for the Banana Slugs. They like crossing the trails in the later afternoon. Don't step on them they're cool. Oh ya and the falls are awesome.
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3/23/2008
Very beautiful hike. The canyon views are nice. The view of the falls from the overlook is spectacular this time of year. The 4.5 mile trail is smooth with quite a bit of ups and downs but is very shaded. The waterfall at the Frey creek foot bridge was beatiful Almost every stream was flowing. The 3.3 mile trail is more steep with the occasional rock ot two imbedded in the trail. Br very careful if you decide to go to the overlook within the chain link fence at the falls. It can be very slippery in spots. Temperature was approx. 76 degrees and sunny with a very light breeze.
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3/13/2007
Took the hike in March during 80degree weather, I would consider this hike to be Moderate rather than Easy - we took the shorter trail on the way in and the longer trail on the way out, probably should had done the longer one going in, as it was an easier hike and the extra mile would have been easier then the constant steep elevation changes (up & down), my trail book had it at Moderate, but thought it might have been a misprint, I think they were right
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1/14/2007
A beautiful trail; a little cold in January but not too cold. If you get out before 11 you'll likely be the only one out there in the winter. I loved it.
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8/11/2006
It was a nice hike. Took the more difficult trail on the way up and took the easier, more scenic trail on the way down. Your info was most helpful..
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Trail Information

Plumas National Forest
Nearby City
Plumas National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Camping
Additional Use
Waterfalls, Views, Wildflowers
Features
Feather River Ranger District, 875 Mitchell Ave., Oroville 95965 (530) 534-6500 www.fs.usda.gov/main/plumas
Local Contacts