Friday, October 18, 2013

Feather River Autumn


Thursday Marcia and I did another one of our long Day Trips.  When we were at Quincy earlier this summer we came down highway 70 to Oroville, then to Loomis where we were staying before we were able to get into my sister’s backyard due to a remodel project they were doing.  At the time I noted that it would be a wonderful drive during Autumn, and well, Thursday was the day for it.  So we drove from Citrus Heights, to Quincy, then came back through Nevada City along highway 49, so it was a giant 300 mile loop, and I took over 100 pictures.


The goal, of course, was to find and photograph the Autumn colors.  As we got on highway 70 and got past Oroville, we started to gain some elevation.  Around the 2000 foot level is where we really started to see a lot of colors.  Yes, there was signs of Autumn before this, but much more at the 2000 foot level.


Soon we meet up with the north fork of the Feather River.  Highway 70 is known as the Feather River Scenic Byway.  Our first view of it today was from a distance, but you can get fairly close to the river right from the seat of your car as you take the drive.


During the spring the Feather River is a fast moving river, until you come upon one of the power dams which hold the water back.  During Autumn, the river has many calm areas, which offer great reflective views.


Not only does the highway run alongside the river, but also the old Western Pacific Railroad Feather River Route, built in the early 1900's to connect Oakland and Salt Lake City.  It is now owned and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad.  In some of the pictures you can see the railroad on the other side of the river.

1e   1f

Most of the time the river was to our right, but at this time it is to our left.  Along the right under the trees were these bright iridescent green undergrowth.  The pictures don’t do the “greens” justice for how they really looked.


This part of the route has dropped to the 1600 foot mark.  After the initial climb just after Oroville, it drops and slowly climbs back above the 2000 foot mark, and eventually to the 3400 foot mark in Quincy. 


There is some road construction going on right now, but it only delays you up to 15 minutes or so….more if you decide to pull over for a photo while being escorted between two shut-down spots…Yes, I was a bit red-faced when the guy pulls up in the truck wondering what the heck we were doing.

1i  1j  1k

With these type of views, it is easy to forget that you are in a construction zone…I told him I would wait for the next escort opportunity and let us be with a “just don’t stop for any more pictures please” reminder.  I doubt I will ever forget that when you are suppose to follow the leader, you can’t pull over even if the view is out-of-this world.




At this point we are at the 2200 foot elevation level.

1o  1p

The higher we went up in elevation, the more colors in the scenery. 

2a  2b  2c

Eventually we made it to Quincy, and we then started on the second half of the loop heading home.  Quincy was full of Autumn colors, but the route over to highway 49 was full of color too.


Once we got on highway 49, we were now driving along the North Yuba River…but we were starting to lose our light, and we were 100 miles from Citrus Heights still.


And with every stop….we were not getting anywhere fast…but it is so hard to pass by reflections.

And we did not see much “red” today, so I had to include this shot as we got close to Nevada City.  From there it was a quick trip to Auburn, and as the sun was going down to the west ….


The moon was rising in the east over the giant pumpkin.


Hope you enjoy your Autumn days….where ever you are…winter will be here before we know it.


  1. Those reflection photos are so beautiful. You certainly found some very calm waters. Nice foliage:)

    We have some very nice colors here in the east but I don't think it will be great because of our very hot spell and too much water lately. The trees seem to be more brown and leaves dropping quickly:(

    1. I know you can find some good pictures if you go looking for it. Anytime I go by a body of water I look for a picture for then, and in the future...if I can't get there during the Autumn time, I typically will look in Google Images for a picture someone else has taken so I can enjoy the few of Autumn too. I knew the colors in Quincy had peaked last week by doing a google image search limiting pictures to the past week...which told me that the Feather River area would be good to go this week and the next few weeks.

  2. Thanks for your beautiful photo-log of my stomping grounds - again. Isn't it true that we often don't appreciate our own backyard, but will pay bundles and take lots of time to visit other backyards? I have very good friends who moved to Quincey in the 70s - to raise their children in a small town atmosphere. Ken built the house himself, including all cabinetry, plumbing, electricity, finishing, etc. It's a showcase.
    Californians usually don't brag about Fall colors, like the reds you mentioned as missing, but we do have Seasons and we do love our version of Fall. Glad you took the time to see California scenery in Fall colors.

    1. Yes, Quincy is a nice small town....had I stayed in California I might have wouldn't have minding raising kids there....but getting a job there is another mater. I doubt we will do this...but in another week or two the colors in the Nevada City area, which is only 50 miles away, is going to be looking real good. Perhaps mom and dad will want to go up there with us like they did going to Apple Hill. It is not going to be long before everything is looking good in Sacramento too. Mom and dad's house they rent has Japanese Maples in it...they will be turning real red pretty soon.

  3. Beautiful pictures....I especially like the reflections. Autumn is my favorite season! Thanks for sharing your nice day trip.

  4. You made me LOL with your story of stopping in the construction zone. Reallly, what do they expect? I have never driven that route. You got some gorgeous pictures.

  5. I really don't know what I was thinking....We were near the back of the pack of about a dozen cars. I saw this "picture" and my mind focused in on the picture and not us being led down the road due to construction. In fact, a few minutes after we had pulled over and this construction vehicle started pulling into the turnout we were in did it dawn on me what I had done....that's how focused I was on the "picture" and not on the "driving" aspect of life at that moment. I was a bit red-faced, but he was so very nice about it...with the little dig as he pulled out of "no more picture taking now....". Thank goodness it was not a CHP, I am sure an officer would have found some reason to give this Floridian California Born traveler a ticket.

    1. And if you ever are in the area, you and Ron would LOVE the Feather River Falls trail. We cannot do it because Marcia's GoGo is not "4-wheel drive" so to speak, but it is a wonderful hike with a GREAT view of the area and the falls. Just Google it....


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