Near the City of Oroville this man-made lake was formed by the tallest earth-filled dam (770 feet above the stream bed of the Feather River) in the country. The lake offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, sail and power boating, water-skiing, fishing, swimming, boat-in camping, floating campsites and horse camping. Lake Oroville Visitor Center has a museum, exhibits, videos and a store. The view from the 47-foot tower, with two high-powered telescopes, is a spectacular panoramic view of the lake, Sierra Nevadas, valley, foothills, and the Sutter Buttes mountain range (smallest in the world). The area includes the Feather River Fish Hatchery, built by the Department of Water Resources to replace lost spawning areas for salmon and steelhead. Displays on the State Water Project and the areas natural and cultural history are featured at the visitors center.

Nothing special. Was ok

This is a lovely moderate trail. If you want to complete the loop, I'd recommend going down on the Lower Trail and back up on the Upper Trail. As others have pointed out, the Lower Trail is not only steeper (and shorter), but it is in disrepair. This means some scrambling is needed to navigate it. We went down on the Lower Trail and back out on the Upper Trail.

The trail is mostly shaded, although the Upper Trail does have some spots with direct sun exposure. We were there in late May and it was pretty hot and humid, We also got a late start driving to the area from Sacramento. I think the trail is probably best completed in late April/early May when the wildflowers are out and it's not too hot.

You are rewarded with fabulous views of Feather Falls. The falls are exceptionally powerful this year after a very wet winter. The Lower and Upper Trails meet near the falls. Once you get to the falls, you can hike down into the canyon for unobstructed views of the falls (the Overlook). This trail is pretty eroded right now, but it's worth getting a nice view (I posted the requisite picture with a rainbow). You can also hike up and around the canyon to get to the top of the falls. We did this after the Overlook and ate lunch at the top of the falls. It can get a little crowded with families, but it is a nice shady spot to take a break before hiking up and out of the canyon.

I'd recommend bringing bug spray. I seem to attract them the second I stop to take in the views and a drink of water. Getting an early morning start would have alleviated having to deal with bugs. Also, I recommend bringing sunblock. Even though the trail is pretty shaded, there are sections with sun exposure and you will likely need to reapply given the length of the hike.

Overall, an excellent day hike for those living in the Sacramento area. Get an early start and try this trail before the summer heat sets in.

This is a lovely, mostly shady and relatively flat hike if you take the "upper loop". The old oak and madrone trees are spectacular! I do not recommend the lower trail as it is deeply rutted and hikers are just making the erosion and damage worse. Hopefully the Forest Service will close it and make some much needed repairs.

1 month ago