Feather Falls

HikeSnobs rate this: 2thumb


Visited: September 3, 2016

Description: 410 foot year-round waterfall in Plumas National Forest

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Season: April – October

Length: 7-9 mile loop

Elevation: 1600-2460 feet

Duration: 4-5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate – strenuous

Terrain: Dirt, Rock

Pets: Dog-friendly (Dog should be trained for activity & watch out for ticks)

Parking: Lot

Best time to go: Anytime

Bring: Camera, water, lunch/snack

After spending the day exploring Lassen National Park, we drove through the night and took a quick detour to Plumas National Forest before heading home. Our next destination was Feather Falls. We’ve had our eyes set on this waterfall for a while and were excited to finally have the opportunity to explore this beauty.

We spent the night freezing our asses off tucked in our sleeping bags on the truck bed air mattress. The only upside were the beautiful stars we witnessed that night. Getting just a few hours of rest we woke up bright and early. Feather Falls is a popular hike so we wanted to beat the crowd.

The trail starts off flat on a well-maintained trail.


Within 0.25 mile, we reached a fork on the trail. Both trails will lead to the falls. The lower trail to the left is shorter (3.5 miles one way) but is a bit strenuous due to the steep elevation changes. It may also be closed during Spring due to flooding. The upper trail to the right is slightly longer (4.5 miles one way) but the incline is more gradual.


We decided to take the longer trail in hopes that the incline would be much easier and then just loop back via the shorter trail. Within a mile, we reached a bridge.


You can take a short break and enjoy the small waterfall here. It’s like a tease to what you’re about to see 😘


Along the trail, you will spot Bald Rock Dome. Formed from a large body of melted rocks, it is similar to Half Dome in Yosemite. If you’ve been to or have seen Half Dome, you’d scoff at Bald Rock Dome…

The rest of the trail is gradual and monotonous. The incline doesn’t get bad until the last leg of the trail.


When you spot the railings, the excitement kicks in!


We could hear the waterfall so we quickened our pace. We could see the top of the falls peaking out from the trail. Almost there!


Near the end of the trail, you can continue left down the trail ramp to reach the overlook or you can bear right to hike to the top of the falls.


When you reach the overlook, you can see Feather River below.

Following Feather River upstream is the main attraction: Feather Falls! We were extremely happy to see it waterFALLING instead of just waterTRICKLING.

Once you’re done with the viewpoint, you can either head to the top of the falls (if you haven’t already) or you can make your way back to the parking lot. If you want the hike back to end quickly, take the shorter route – it is a bit moderate but could be strenuous. If you still have some life in you to go an extra mile and want to take it a bit easier back, the longer route is your friend.

If you’re in the area and have the time for a ~5 hour hike, DO IT. You won’t regret it!


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