Bureau of Land Management National Park Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S. Forest Service

Feather River (Middle Fork), California

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Managing Agency:

U.S. Forest Service, Plumas National Forest

Designated Reach:

October 2, 1968. The entire Middle Fork downstream from the confluence of its tributary streams one kilometer south of Beckwourth, California.


Wild — 32.9 miles; Scenic — 9.7 miles; Recreational — 35.0 miles; Total — 77.6 miles.


Feather River (U.S. Forest Service)

Feather River Management Plan

Photo Credit: Alice Bodnar

Feather River

The Middle Fork of the Feather River was one of the first nationally designated wild and scenic rivers. The river runs from it headwaters near Beckwourth, California, to Lake Oroville. The river gradient varies from gentle at the upper end to very steep in the deep canyons of the lower reaches. The adjacent lands range from the most primitive imaginable to manicured golf courses and residential area. Access is good by oiled roads in the upper portion and is nonexistent mile after mile in the wild river zones.

In the wild sections, huge boulders, cliffs and waterfalls are a part of the natural beauty of the area, but can make navigating the river and hiking difficult.

There are scenic opportunities throughout the river corridor. In the summer the sun sparkles off the river, and in the fall, the beautiful colors along the steep mountain slopes make autumn spectacular. Bald eagles, mule deer and beaver are just a few of the varieties of wildlife you can expect to see.

Fishing, kayaking and swimming are abundant in the recreational portions of the river.