Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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September 24, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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September 24, 2014
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter 00GIONAL Wednesday, Sept. 24, 20141 1B E TUMN Use this guide to create your personal tour of some of the world's most spectacular fall colors Chester/Lake Almanor Area Lake Almanor and its magnificent views of Lassen Peak make it a popular base camp for fall foliage drives: Start out on Main Street in Chester, where cottonwoods and domestic maples grace the highway and banks of the Feather River. Miles of reddened dogwood are found east and west on Hwy. 36. Turning onto Feather River Drive at the fire hall, you'll be rewarded with glowing birch and aspen along forest roads to Warner Valley, Benner Creek and Juniper Lake. East of Chester, follow Hwy. 36 to Hwy. 32, which parallels Deer Creek. There are many places to pull over and enjoy the alders, oaks and Indian Rhubarb along the creek. Another great drive is into Lassen Volcanic National Park on Hwy. 89, for quaking aspen, thermal pools and stunning landscapes. Feather River Canyon The Feather River Scenic Byway (Hwy. 70) from Oroville to Quincy is a breathtaking 75-mile drive featuring steep rugged walls, river, unique feats of railroad and hydropower engineering, and fall colors at every turn. Masses of golden oak flanked by blazing dogwood, Big Leaf maple, redbud and occasional aspen bring color to the mountainsides, ranging from chartreuse to flaxen yellow, all intermixed with evergreens. Foliage generally turns later in the canyon due to lower elevations. There are many gorgeous autumnal hikes along the river and Spanish Creek. Indian Creek/Indian Valley This pastoral drive follows Indian Creek, beginning at the intersection of Hwys. 70 and 89, heading north toward Greenville. One side of the road has hillsides covered with orange oak, red and dogwood; on the other, the crystalline waters of the stream are lined with amber willow and flaming red Indian Rhubarb. Nearing Taylorsville, the entire valley is visible at the base of Mt. Hough. Broad bands of oak and aspen descend the mountain ravines, resembling giantsaffron waterfalls. You can continue the drive beyond Antelope Lake, or return to Hwy. 89 and head north. The road up to Round Valley Lake is worth a trip to view large groves of dogwood, Big Leaf maple and cottonwood. Quincy/Bucks Lake Area Stately ornamental silver maples, liquid ambers, sycamores, locust trees and Virginia creeper adorn downtown Quincy, framing its grand four-story courthouse and historic homes with autumn splendor. Don't miss the row of maples at Quincy High School; from there take Quincy Junction Road to Chandler Road for spectacular valley vistas of oak and cottonwood. Then head up Bucks Lake Road, home to large masses of dogwood and Big Leaf maple, with worthy side trips on unpaved roads out of Meadow Valley. Follow the Big Creek route, and continue a few miles past Bucks Lake, where there are several beautiful groves of aspen and creek willow. La Porte Road/Oromberg Just east of Quincy, turn south on La Porte Road and drive less than a mile to the old Thompson Ranch. On the left side of the road stands an enormous English maple that turns incredible shades of champagne pink and deep scarlet. The steep 45-minute drive to the former Gold Rush town of La Porte is a spectacular fall color excursion that winds along canyons and meadows, crossing the Middle Fork Feather River and passing a historic bridge. Back on Hwy. 70, dazzling colors of oak, cottonwood and dogwood jump out at you from the roadway, hillsides and mountaintops between Quincy and Cromberg. Graeagle/Lakes Basin Recreation Area Cottonwoods, willow and aspen turn yellow to gold along the Middle Fork Feather River around Graeagle, where golfers also can take in fabulous foliage on the area's forest-Jaden courses. Take a short drive on County Road A14, leading to the charming town of Johnsville and Plumas-Eureka State Park. A must-see destination for leaf-peepers is over the Gold Lake Highway into the pristine, rugged Lakes Basin Recreation Area. Quaking aspen, cottonwoods and a myriad of ground cover provide the luminous color that contrasts starkly against granite peaks and sparkling alpine lakes. You can spot good color along numerous hiking trails and side roads. The drive past the Sierra Buttes and into Sierra Citycontinues the dramatic show along the Yuba River on Hwy. 49. YOUR ROUTE IN ADVANCE Check the Leaf Peeper daily fall color reports from late September thru mid November at plumascounW, or g/Aw esome_Autumn, htm Portola/Lake Davis/Beckwourth of bright yellow aspen and fall fishing are the highlight on the short trip to Lake Davis. Follow West Street north from Portola, and meander along the unpaved westside of the lake. Back on Hwy. 70 heading east of Portola, large golden cottonwoods frame the road as it parallels the Feather River. At Beckwourth, turn north onto the Beckwourth-Genesee Road and continue after it turns to gravel into the resplendent Clover Valley. Aspen, oak, willow, deerbrush and bitter cherry are abundant on this quiet drivel which can be combined into a longer loop with #8, below. Little Last Chance Creek/ Frenchman Lake Unique formations of dark volcanic rock form an exquisite backdrop for neon yellow aspen found on the road to Frenchman Lake north of Chilcoot. For a wide range of colors, species and vistas, venture off-road on a rewarding three-hour loop trip (approximately 35 miles) beginning (or ending) at Beckwourth- Genesee Road (see #7). From Beckwourth, continue past Crocker campground, to a Y-intersection and turn right back onto pavement. Travel approximately five more miles, passing the Conklin Park campground and turn right at the sign toward Milford. Go about 100 yards and make another right onto 28BN03, which eventually follows Ferris Creek and Last Chance Creek. Continue south toward Frenchman Lake; the route becomes 25Nll, following the lake's west shore, and eventually returns to the paved Frenchman Lake Road that intersects Hwy. 70. Have a camera handy; you'll pull over often to enjoy the large stands of aspen, plus willow, maples, cottonwood, oaks and more. .