Update October 2020: Due to extensive damage from the North Complex Fire, Feather Falls, the trail, and its surrounding areas ARE CLOSED THROUGH MARCH 2024 to hiking, hunting, camping, and fishing due to ongoing recovery efforts. The trail to Feather Falls was badly damaged and is extremely dangerous - anyone who tries to visit/hike the area will be cited.
Those exploring the various waterfalls in Northern California or Northern California hiking trails should put Feather Falls at the top of their to-visit list.
A Yosemite-style waterfall without the crowds, Feather Falls' 410-foot drop is an impressive display of nature’s grandeur in a dramatic Sierra Nevada setting. Hike 7-9 miles (depending on which trail you choose) through beautiful mountain scenery to reach two dramatic waterfall lookouts. During certain times of year, keep your eyes open for millions of migrating ladybugs at Frey Creek. Hikers can take in the falls from the lookout, or hike to the top for a dramatic view and access to beautiful Fall River that feeds the falls.
One visit to this Butte County favorite will make it clear why it's one of the California's best waterfalls.
Hiking to Feather Falls
There are two options to reach the overlook at Feather Falls.
At 1/3 mile past the trailhead, the trail diverges. For the more experienced hiker, take the steep 3.3 mile path to the west, which features about two miles of uphill grade.
The gently sloping 4.5 mile path to the east is ideal for the inexperienced hiker.
The two trails converge approximately 1/2 mile before reaching the Feather Falls observation deck.
Allow a minimum of four to five hours to hike the nine-mile loop. Take plenty of water. Restrooms and non-potable water are available at the trailhead near the parking area, but bring drinking water or a water purifier for the hike.