kayaker going through whitewater on middle fork of feather river

Kayaking and Rafting
in Northern California

Photo by Matt Ritenour

For the love of paddling

Plumas County has excellent whitewater opportunities for kayakers and rafters of all levels. With classes ranging from II to V, the Feather River Watershed is one of the best places in Northern California to plan your next whitewater adventure.

Where to Kayak in Plumas County

North Fork of the Feather River

The North Fork of the Feather along Highway 70 from the intersection of Highway 89 (Greenville Wye) to Twain or Virgilia has ratings of Class II and III.

Middle Fork of the Feather River

The Middle Fork of the Feather, at its upper stretches, is gentler and has 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 are recommended from Mohawk to Sloat, or from Sloat to the La Porte Road bridge, with take-out at the campground.

The Wild and Scenic Zone of the Middle Fork past the La Porte Road bridge is for expert rafters and kayakers teams.

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.

Indian Creek Falls

Indian Creek Falls to the Greenville Wye is a fun class III-IV run only 14 miles from Quincy. The creek runs along highway 89 between highway 70 and Greenville and is easily accessible.

Kayaking and Rafting Seasons in Plumas County

The kayaking and rafting season in Plumas County runs approximately from January to April or May, depending on the flow. By early July, flows are low enough that it’s time to kick back, grab a beverage, and find an inner tube for short float trips on the upper stretches of the Middle and North Fork Feather Rivers.

The Feather River Festival is on the fourth Saturday in September.

A video by Friends of Plumas Wilderness. Be sure to scroll around to get the full effect!

Know Before You Go

  • Pack it in, pack it out. There’s no access to trash or recycling on the river so please leave no trace and pack out everything you take on the river.
  • Check fire regulations and restrictions with Plumas National Forest
  • If fires are allowed and you do have one: permits are required. Please be sure to put your fire completely out.
  • Some national forest lands, roads and recreation sites near and within recent fire areas are closed to all activities. Check access before you go.
  • Plumas County has limited public transportation so you must plan your own shuttles
  • Cell phone coverage is extremely limiteddon’t count on having coverage on the river

Safety First

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. 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.


Get more information on kayaking and rafting in Plumas County

Did You Know?

The Middle Fork of the Feather River was one of eight charter rivers designated with the passage of the National Wild & Scenic River System created in 1968. The  Act preserves free-flowing rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The river runs from its headwaters near Beckwourth to Lake Oroville.

Learn more about the Wild & Scenic Middle Fork of the Feather River in this video from Friends of Plumas Wilderness.


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Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay in Plumas County
Mill Creek

Close to the SW entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. A stay at the historic lodge includes full breakfast, option of dinner and a full bar.


Beautiful treed park with great internet tucked away from Highway 70 in Quincy, with rivers, lakes, and recreation areas not far outside of town.

Bucks Lake

Set among the beautiful pine trees in a cove at the south end of Bucks Lake, Haskins Valley Campground is a popular vacation spot.