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Stories from the valley

Wet Winter fuels a phenomenal Waterfall Year

Contributed by Jim Morris

This winter has had it all in California. From low elevation snow in surprising locations to wave after wave of atmospheric rivers, the rain, snow and strong winds have brought a lot of good (gigantic snowpack and full reservoirs) as well some not so good (flooding).

You can add fantastic waterfalls to the good category. Son RJ and I ventured to Feather Falls near Oroville last weekend and had a wonderful time. I suggest you budget five-hours for the hike, which we would categorize as moderate to strenuous. The payoff is a jaw-dropping view of a 410-foot tall waterfall bursting with water!


There’s also beauty in the journey to and from the waterfalls. A fun moment happened at the bridge over Frey Creek, where we found a congregation of ladybugs. This area is known as a location where they migrate through, so take a moment and search!

I learned about the ladybugs and much more information, including directions, from this excellent write up from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Tom Stienstra.  One note regarding travel: I suggest you read up before the hike. Signage is sparse and there are two ways in to the falls; one shorter and steeper, the other longer, but easier.

RJ and I were pretty tired after the hike, but a day seeing the beauty of our region was well worth it. It was music to my ears when we were on the trail and RJ was already laying the groundwork for our next hike!