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The Orion

Outdoors column: The fantastic Feather Falls

The view of the a river flowing along the scenic hike to Feather Falls Photo credit: Courtney Chapman

The sun beats down on your back and face, creating a warm sensation while you hear the faint crash of the waterfall you are approaching. As you come around the corner, an immense 400-foot high waterfall bursts out from the top of the mountain. This is Feather Falls.

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The immaculate 400-foot Feather Falls waterfall Photo credit: Courtney Chapman

The hike up to Feather Falls is a local favorite. Located in the Plumas National Forest in Butte County, it is a good 45-minute drive from Chico.

The hike itself consists of two parts, the upper loop and the lower loop, combining for a total of 7.9 miles. The upper loop is about 4.5 miles and although it is longer than the 3.4-mile lower loop, I would recommend taking it first because it is mostly downhill.

Coming back around towards the end of the hike is a little rigorous, so be prepared to exert yourself a bit.

Though eight miles doesn’t seem like too much, it is important to set aside at least a half of a day to do the hike to the top of Feather Falls. Time can get away from you when you’re having too much fun.

Being located in the Plumas National Forest has some perks with one of them being the incredible scenic views along the hike to the top of Feather Falls.

One of the many views on the trek to Feather Falls Photo credit: Courtney Chapman

Some important things to remember:

  • Bring your water bottle.
  • Bring your camera or phone for the amazing photo opportunities.
  • Wear comfortable and durable shoes.
  • Keep an eye out for poison oak as it is common along the trails.

Being that Feather Falls is a local favorite means that it can become very crowded. Everyone enjoys things differently, so if you get stuck behind someone slow, politely wait until there is enough room to pass.

Please be aware of your surroundings. Unfortunately, there have been a few poor souls who have lost their lives at Feather Falls. Stay on the path and in the marked boundaries. They are there for a reason.

Here in Chico, there is a huge sense of community. We all take care of each other. If you see a fellow hiker in need of help, don’t hesitate to extend your assistance.

With these practices in action, we as a community can do our best to keep everyone safe.

Check back next week for a new hike, adventure or way to get outside in Chico.

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.

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