In the summer of 2020, the North Complex Fire burned through Butte and Plumas counties on its way to becoming the sixth largest fire in California’s history. The flames blazed through 2,455 structures and took the lives of 16 people, most notably in the town of Berry Creek. The fire also blazed through some of the area’s outdoor destinations, including a stunning 410-foot waterfall.
Feather Falls was a popular place for hikers to visit year-round, with a massive waterfall bursting out of the rocks in the Feather River Canyon. The 9-mile round trip hike remains closed today, but aerial photos show the state of the charred waterfall.
Local pilot Gonzalo Peewee Curiel took to the air to capture this photo of Feather Falls following the fire in the fall of 2020:
Although it’s been nearly a year since the fire blazed through the region, the hike to Feather Falls remains closed with no reopening in sight. The hike included heavy trail infrastructure, including a platform overlooking the waterfall at the end.The platform was badly damaged in the fire, and the Forest Service has indicated that the entire area, including the trail and nearby campground, won’t reopen until March 2023.
On top of the devastating loss of structures and human life, Northern California wildfires also destroy some of the stunning outdoor destinations that make the area great. Let’s hope we can help mitigate the damage caused by these wildfires in the near future.
Here’s what the hike to Feather Falls looked like before the fire: