Description - The Plumas National Forest covers over a million acres of tree covered mountains, filled with hundreds of high alpine lakes and thousands of miles of clear running streams. The Plumas National Forest's headwaters flow into Lake Oroville.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Plumas National Forest
- The Feather Falls Scenic Area is located southwest of Bucks Lake and northeast of Lake Oroville, near the town of Feather Falls. Outstanding features of the area are the spectacular granite domes and picturesque waterfalls. The Feather Falls National Recreation Trail leads four miles to the 640 foot high Feather River Falls.
North of Lake Oroville is the Upper Canyon Zone of the Middle Fork of the Feather River, part of the National System of Wild and Scenic Rivers. This section of the river is extremely rugged and is accessible on foot.
Seventy-five miles of the Pacific Crest Trail cross the Plumas, passing through two major canyons, the Middle and North Forks of the Feather River.
Crisp alpine landscapes and striking geological features make Lakes Basin, on the Beckwourth Ranger District, one of the most popular recreation areas on the forest. There are 25 natural lakes and ponds connected by a well maintained trail system. Mountain biking, fishing, hiking, and backpacking are among the activities that can be enjoyed.
The Feather River Scenic Byway offers spectacular views and countless points of cultural, geologic and historical interest. The Scenic Byway begins 10 miles north of Oroville on State Highway 70 and meanders east to U.S. Highway 395.
Recreation - Popular activities of this forest include hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, boating and whitewater rafting. The Plumas offers countless scenic vistas, beauty, and amazing solitude.
Camping in the Plumas National Forest ranges from lakeside campgrounds to remote mountain stream hideouts. Generally, fee campgrounds are open from April through October. Those at higher elevations open in mid to late May.
Bucks Lake, Lake Davis, Lakes Basin, Little Grass Valley, Frenchman Lake, and Antelope Lake Recreation Areas offer a full variety of boating, fishing, camping and other recreation experiences.
The branches of the Feather River are known for their deep picturesque canyons and good fishing. The upper stretches of the Middle Fork are in the English Bar Scenic Zone and Recreation Zone. These Zones are relatively gentle with easy access. Rafting and canoeing are feasible in the Zones, from Clio downstream to the Quincy-La Porte Road, in the spring. By early July, flows are low enough so that inner tubes and air mattresses are the usual mode for short float trips.
Areas that provide good mountain biking include abandoned logging roads, areas designated for off highway vehicles, trails and some backcountry roads. These areas are open to bikers and provide a good cross-section of terrain and topography. Wilderness trails and the Pacific Crest Trail are closed to biking. The Lake Davis Loop, the Summit-Bucks Creek Loop, Mills Peak Lookout and Homer Lake are some recommended rides.
Downhill skiing can be found at Plumas Eureka State Park while cross-country skiing is popular throughout the Forest. Many areas are designated for snowmobiling.
Climate - The Plumas generally experiences warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Weather can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.
The Plumas is located in Northern California between the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Ranges. The Forest Headquarters is in Quincy. California Highways 89 and 70 both bisect the Forest.