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Plumas

Situated in the Sierra Nevada, just south of the Cascade Range, the Plumas National Forest is versatile in its land features and enhanced by a pleasant climate.

Outdoor enthusiasts are attracted year round to the Plumas National Forest's many streams and lakes, beautiful deep canyons, rich mountain valleys, meadows, and lofty peaks.

The Middle Fork of the Feather River was one of the first nationally-designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. Any part of the river in this canyon may be rugged and difficult to access. In the wild zone, precipitous cliffs, waterfalls, and huge boulders discourage most people trying to float or hike. While the scenic zones are less rugged, they still require great preparation and caution.

The Feather River Scenic Byway is a treasure awaiting discovery. This 130-mile route features incomparable natural beauty and diversity in terrain, landscape, and wildlife habitat. The canyon is an awesome gorge carved by the river through granite, into conifer trees, and high mountain meadows.

Feather Falls National Recreation Trail and Campground is a wonderful destination for camping, hiking, and enjoying the beauty of the Falls.

The Plumas National Forest offers a vast array of recreational activities and close to 300 miles of trails suited for every taste and ability. The Forest offers handy recreation guidesto plan and enjoy your visit.

Camping options range from lakeside campgrounds to remote mountain stream hideouts. Campground elevations vary from a couple thousand feet above the valley floor to more than 7,000 feet in elevation. Particular caution with weather should be taken for sites above 4,000 feet in elevation.

The Plumas National Forest Recreational Areas have outstanding combinations of outdoor recreation opportunities. Special attractions include: Antelope Lake Recreation Area, Bucks Lake Recreation Area, Davis Lake Recreation Area, Little Grass Valley Sly Creek, andFrenchman Lake.

The Forest is home to the Bucks Lake Wilderness Area, where elevations range from 2,000 feet in the Feather River Canyon to 7,017 feet at Spanish Peak. The terrain includes gentle slopes, steep canyons, and sheer cliffs.

The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. About 75 miles extends across the Plumas National Forest, crossing two major canyons. Elevations range from 2400 to 7000 feet.

The Forest has been used by humans for at least 8,000 years, and has an interesting history. It was the homeland of the Mountain and Konkow Maidu Indians. Washo and Paiute also lived along the Forest's current eastern boundaries. The ruggedness of the area discouraged exploration until the Gold Rush. Spanish exploration in the early 1800's was limited to the Sacramento Valley. The Hudson Bay Fur Company, however, had entered the Plumas Region by the early 1830's.

Gold miners spread into the area by 1850. Although Indians had known about the Sierra's lowest pass for centuries, James Beckwourth, an African American mountain man, did not formally "discover" it until 1851. Immigrants and miners soon began moving through the pass and into the area. Gold camps and towns sprang up almost overnight as miners searched for that elusive metal.

First-timer’s Adventure

Enjoy the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area is a 500-acre eden of natural splendor, which is managed by the Plumas National Forest to protect special botanical resources.

This botanical paradise is home of the California Pitcher Plant (Darlingtonia californica). The California Pitcher Plant is a rare and unusual insect-eating plant that only grows in scattered boggy areas from southern Oregon down through northern California where the Sierra and Cascades meet. Also known as the Cobra Lily, Darlingtonia californica has a unique leaf adaptation that allows it to capture and digest insects to gather nutrients for the plant.

Statistics

State(s):

California

Nearest Large Urban Area(s):

San Francisco, Reno

Notes & Conditions:

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.