Northern California May 03, 2017
The Scenic Byway In Northern California You Have To Travel At Least Once
Beautiful country roads and scenic byways are plentiful in Northern California, but this one riverside route will amaze you. The Feather River Canyon along the North Fork of the Feather River in Butte County is a truly unforgettable drive.
The canyon portion of this 130-mile scenic byway route travels east-west across Butte and Plumas Counties on State Highway 70, following the north fork of the Feather River.
The Feather River Scenic Byway route can be taken in either direction.
From the west, it starts eight miles north of Oroville on Highway 70, winds through the magnificent Feather River Canyon, following the middle fork of the Feather River, the state's first designated Wild and Scenic River.
It then connects with Highway 89 on through Quincy to Blairsden/Graeagle, resumes as Highway 70 through Portola.
From there, it drops down onto the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and cuts through the fantastic expanse of the Sierra Valley, the western edge of the Great Basin
Few California highways feature such natural beauty and diversity in terrain, landscape, wildlife and elevation as the Canyon Route.
Cascading waterfalls and wildflowers in the spring and brilliant colors in the fall highlight the canyon’s natural beauty.
The road and the railway run parallel through the canyon. The bridge in the foreground is CA 70. The bridge in the background is a rail bridge.
The area also showcases the marvels of power plant, railroad and highway engineering between the steep, rugged canyon walls that drop down to the North Fork of the Feather River.
Hydroelectric power is what it's all about in the Feather River Canyon. PG&E operates seven hydroelectric plants in the canyon. Here you can see the powerhouse at Bucks Creek.
Pictured here is Bidwell Bar Suspension Bridge on Lake Oroville. You might find it surprising to come across a suspension bridge in this location, but the canyon of the Feather River is narrow there and, before the reservoir was filled, the bridge was 627 feet above the river.
The historic Pulga and Tobin bridges - highway and railroad bridges that cross over each other - and three tunnels blasted through granite are among the most frequently photographed sites.
Seven hydroelectric powerhouses make up the "Stairway of Power" along the river with excellent views of the process in action.
You will notice several dams and reservoirs along the drive.
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