Experienced kayakers and rafters can find plenty of excitement on the white water found along the Feather River in Plumas County.
Beginner-level canoeing or float-tubing is possible along the more gentle eastern stretches, or along some of its tributaries such as Indian Creek.
The rafting season runs approximately from January to April or May, depending on the flow. By early July, flows are low enough that inner tubes and air mattresses are the usual mode for short float trips on the upper stretches only.
The North Fork of the Feather River may once again have increased flow releases taking place during the summer on select weekends. September 26 and 27, 2015. Feather River Festival.
(Please check back as these release dates have a tendency to change, or call Dave Steindorf at American Whitewater (530) 343-1871, or go to the American Whitewater Website).
The flows will create intermediate to advanced
runs at the Rock Creek reach
downstream from Belden along Highway 70. Flow
increases will start about 6 am both days, and
run until 3 pm on Saturdays and until 2 pm on
The North Fork of the Feather along Highway 70 from the intersection of Highway 89 (Greenville Y) to Twain or Virgilia is suitable for canoes or beginner kayakers, with moderate ratings of Class II and III. The stretch from Virgilia to Rich Bar is recommended for experts only. From Rich Bar to Belden is a popular Class III stretch of about five miles, with take-out at the rest area or resort. Below Belden there are intermediate and advanced runs that are accessible during the recreational summer flows. (See above.)
The Middle Fork of the Feather at its upper stretches is gentler, with easier access. From Clio to the Mohawk Bridge near Blairsden is a slow Class I and II, suitable for beginner canoeing. During the spring runoff, class II and III rafting and kayaking is recommended from Mohawk to Sloat, or from Sloat to the La Porte Road bridge, with take-out at the campground.
Wild and Scenic Zone of the Middle Fork past the La Porte Road bridge is for
teams of expert rafters and kayakers only.
The renowned 32 mile, three day trip to Milsap Bar is an extremely difficult wilderness adventure that takes experts past deep canyon walls, numerous boulders and waterfalls. Experts regard this remote and scenic stretch as the most spectacular multi-day kayaking trip in California.
No matter what level of river sport you're planning, be sure to take caution by wearing a flotation device and helmet at all times. And remember the river can change from year to year, depending on winter floods. Watch for fallen trees and other obstacles, and always scout rapids when possible.