Feather River

From Academic Kids

This article treats the river in California. For other uses see Feather River (disambiguation)

The Feather River is a principal tributary of the Sacramento River, approximately 80 mi (129 km) long, in northern California in the United States. It drains part of the central Sierra Nevada mountains and the part of the lower Sacramento Valley. The river has a rich history of gold mining in the 19th century.It provides a water source for central and southern California through aqueducts in the Central Valley.



The river rises in three separate forks in the Sierras which unite as arms of the Lake Oroville reservoir in the foothills 5 mi (8 km) northeast of Oroville in eastern Butte County. The combined stream flows generally south across the Sacramento Valley,east of Sutter Buttes past Oroville and Yuba City-Marysville and joining the Sacramento from the north approximately 20 mi (32 km) NNW of Sacramento.

It receives the Yuba River from the east at Yuba City and the Bear River from the east 15 mi (24 km) south of Yuba City.

North Fork

The North Fork rises in several creeks south of Lassen Peak in northwestern Plumas County. It flows southeast through the Lake Almanor reservoir, then southwest through the Sierras, receiving the East Branch North Fork from the east near Belden. It flows southeast into Butte County, becoming the northern arm of Lake Oroville.

East Branch North Fork

The East Branch North Fork has it headwaters in eastern Plumas County, south of Honey Lake, as Last Chance Creek. The creek flows westward through the Plumas National Forest, through the Indian Valley, becoming Indian Creek and the East Branch North Fork. It flows east past Twain and joins the North Fork near Belden.

Middle Fork

The Middle Fork rises in southeastern Plumas County in the Sierra Valley southeast of Beckwourth, combining the short North Branch and the Sierra an inverted delta. It flows generally northwest through the Sierras, past Blairsden, then WSW through the Plumas National Forest to become the middle arm of Lake Oroville. Before construction of the Oroville Dam, it joined the South Fork approximately 1 mi (1.6 km) from the confluence of the North and South forks.

South Fork

The South Fork rises in the mountains along the Plumas-Sierra county line and flows WSW, becoming the south arm of the Lake Oroville reservoir. It formerly received the Middle Fork approximately 1 mi (1.6 km) upstream from its confluence with the North Fork.

The Feather River Route

The Western Pacific Railroad operated a railroad through the Feather River canyon. This route was selected because it leads to a low pass over the Sierra Nevada mountains. The Western Pacific California Zephyr trains used this route and had a feather in their logo to represent the river.

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