Multiple Cities Outdoor Adventurer

Explore the Feather River Canyon of the Feather River Scenic Byway

The 60-mile Feath­er Riv­er Canyon of the 130-mile Feath­er Riv­er Scenic Byway trav­els west-east across Butte and Plumas Coun­ties on State High­way 70, fol­low­ing the North Fork of the Feath­er River.

Few Cal­i­for­nia high­ways fea­ture such nat­ur­al beau­ty and diver­si­ty in ter­rain, land­scape, wildlife and ele­va­tion as the Canyon Route. Cas­cad­ing water­falls and wild­flow­ers in the spring and bril­liant col­ors in the fall high­light the canyon’s nat­ur­al beau­ty. The area also show­cas­es the mar­vels of pow­er plant, rail­road and high­way engi­neer­ing between the steep, rugged canyon walls that drop down to the North Fork of the Feath­er Riv­er. The his­toric Pul­ga and Tobin bridges — high­way and rail­road bridges that cross over each oth­er — and three tun­nels blast­ed through gran­ite are among the most fre­quent­ly pho­tographed sites. Sev­en hydro­elec­tric pow­er­hous­es make up the Stair­way of Pow­er” along the riv­er with excel­lent views of the process in action.

If you’re look­ing for a longer adven­ture, enjoy the entire Feath­er Riv­er Scenic Byway, which tra­vers­es Butte, Plumas, and Lassen Coun­ties and will take you along both the North and Mid­dle Forks of the Feath­er Riv­er over 3.5 hours, one way.

Lis­ten Up

Enjoy our High­way Vib­ing” Spo­ti­fy playlist

Get the Playlist

Hik­ing, Kayak­ing, and Fishing

Numer­ous hik­ing trails (includ­ing the Pacif­ic Crest Trail) are accessed in the canyon, while the riv­er pro­vides oppor­tu­ni­ties for gold pan­ning, camp­ing and spring­time raft­ing and kayak­ing. There also are many fish­ing holes along the creeks that inter­sect the river.

White­wa­ter Sea­son­al Recre­ation­al Flows

Recre­ation­al flow releas­es on the North Fork Feath­er Riv­er increase the oppor­tu­ni­ties for white­wa­ter enthu­si­asts, on select week­ends from June to Octo­ber. The small com­mu­ni­ties of Stor­rie, Tobin, Belden, Cari­bou, Twain and Pax­ton offer lodg­ing, camp­ing, con­ve­nience stores and places to eat.

Explore the Feather River Canyon of the Feather River Scenic Byway

Trains Through the Canyon

If you like trains, his­toric tracks (built in 1906) par­al­lel the high­way through the canyon. You may find your­self nose to nose with the engine and if you are lucky they will give you a blast of the horn. These tracks car­ry trains from east to west (Utah to the coast and Oregon).

Get There

The Feath­er Riv­er Scenic Byway route can be tak­en in either direc­tion. From the west, it starts eight miles north of Oroville on High­way 70, winds through the mag­nif­i­cent Feath­er Riv­er Canyon, fol­low­ing the Mid­dle Fork of the Feath­er Riv­er, con­nects with High­way 89 on through Quin­cy to Blairsden/​Graeagle, resumes as High­way 70 through Por­to­la, drops down onto the east­ern slope of the Sier­ra Neva­da and cuts through the fan­tas­tic expanse of the Sier­ra Valley , the west­ern edge of the Great Basin.