The Seven Falls

Oma H. Barnett

The name alone suggests that this waterfall is actually a series of seven spectacular waterfalls along the South Branch Middle Fork of the Feather River, in Plumas National Forest. Seven Falls is also known as South Branch Falls. It is located at Feather Falls Scenic Area, Plumas National Forest, Butte County in Oroville. To get to this magnificent waterfalls, take Highway #162, head east for 6.7 miles to Forbestown Road. Take the Lumpkin Road by turning right and after some 6.3 miles turn left and drive 12.3 miles until you reach Forest Road 27 on your right. Continue for 7.3 miles on Road 27.

When you reach the junction at Road 94, go straight at junction to Road 94 until you reach another junction after 6.8 miles. Turn left on Road 94 for another 2.8 miles, and when you see a signed dirt road on the left, go for it. You are now on Road 62 towards another junction about less than half a mile. Take the left turn and drive exactly 2 miles from that junction and you will reach to an unsigned trailhead. You can park on either side of the road where there are large clearings. From the road, you can now hear the cascading waterfall. Ahead is a 2.4-mile long dirt road, which is rough, but can be driven with a car.

Each of these seven falls drops for at least 40 feet high along a ranging river in a narrow, steep, secluded canyon bring the total height of the waterfall to staggering 600 feet from the highest to the lowest point. Be prepared to take on this one, for it is difficult to get to the waterfalls. The hike involves a lot of scrambling along steep cliffs. But this one is worth all the effort. It is juts amazing.

Along the Milsap Bar Road, you should watch for the trailhead for it is unmarked and not easy to follow. But once you start on it, you will notice that it is quite clear and easy to follow. It would be a short but steep trail towards the river. Your excitement and anticipation will double as you hear the waterfalls gets louder and louder as you get closer and closer to the river. The trail finally emerges at the base of the Fourth Fall by the river, which is right on top of the Fifth Fall.

It would not be easy to see the beauty of these waterfalls. Be prepared to scramble through thick forest, up and down along dangerous granite cliff sides. There are plenty of poison oaks too. To reach the base of the Third Fall, is relatively easy as compared to the other parts of the hike. Though the Second Fall is immediately above the Third Fall, it is not easy to get a good glimpse of it from the base. On the way up, be careful not to slip and fall into the river. The rocks are slick and dangerous. When you reach the Second Fall, you will notice that it is a beautiful triple falls. Just above this immediately comes the First Fall. Reaching there is again, not an easy climb. The First Fall is actually a double fall. If you still have the energy and to go further up past the First Fall, you may proceed as there are still some small waterfalls up there to explore.

To get to the Fifth, Sixth, and Seven Falls, you have to scramble down, requiring more effort and of much greater difficulty. On your way down there are some points where you can have a absolutely perfect vantage point of view of these three falls. It is worth the while to rest and take advantage of the good views, and to prepare for the treacherous hike down.

This is a tiring adventure but it’s all worth it. When you hit back the road, you can spend the rest of the day and the night at the Milsap Bar campground.

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