In its long journey between Mt. Shasta and the San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento River flows through a low range of oak studded hills in the northern Sacramento Valley. Here, the river has cut a scenic 25 mile-long canyon capped with lava rim-rock just upstream of the small town of Red Bluff. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages extensive public lands for recreation and wildlife habitat along this segment of river and along its two tributaries -- lower Battle Creek and Paynes Creek.
The Sacramento River and Battle Creek support threatened and endangered runs of chinook salmon and steelhead, as well as a healthy population of trophy-sized rainbow trout. The area's exceptional riparian habitat is home for bald eagle, osprey, wild turkey, and river otter. The surrounding uplands are clothed in blue oak, foothill pine, and seasonal grasses. Vernal pools provide habitat for rare plant species, as well as important wetlands for Canada geese and the greater sandhill crane.
The waterways are popular outdoor recreation destinations, providing extensive opportunities for angling, canoeing, rafting, motor-boating, sightseeing, hiking, and hunting. With several easy river access points to choose from, the Sacramento offers some of the finest canoe water in the state. The 15 mile segment of lower Battle Creek upstream of its confluence with the Sacramento river features a calm water float through a rich riparian jungle.
Hikers are treated to a spectacular spring wildflower display. Short hikes to the top of the canyon rim rock provide outstanding views of the river. Paynes Creek flows through a virtually undeveloped seven mile long gorge on its way to the Sacramento River confluence in scenic Iron Canyon. The Sacramento River and its tributaries are rich in Native American cultural history. Bloody Island and Massacre Flat two historic sites on the river offer grim testimony to the tragic conflict between Native Americans and European explorers and settlers.
The BLM identified 25 miles of the Sacramento River, 15 miles of lower Battle Creek, and 6.7 miles of Paynes Creek to be eligible for National Wild & Scenic River status. Currently, the BLM manages approximately 18,000 acres of public land along the waterways and plans to acquire from willing sellers additional river-side properties to provide recreational access and protect fish and wildlife habitat. In January 2011 Senate Bill 173 was introduced to create the Sacramento River National Recreation Area, to learn more <click here>.
How To Get There
From the town of Red Bluff, drive north on Interstate 5 to the Jellys Ferry Road exit. Proceed east on Jellys Ferry Road, turn right on Bend Road, proceed across the Bend bridge to the river access. Additional river access points are found further north on Jellys Ferry Road at Jellys bridge and Balls Ferry bridge. Visitors may continue east on Bend Road, which eventually turns to gravel, and leads to trailheads that allow you to explore the area.
Recreation And Visitor Information
Recreation And Visitor Information concerning recreational opportunities in this area, contact the Redding Field Office of the BLM at 355 Hemsted Drive, Redding CA 96002, phone: (530) 224-2100. For more visitor information, visit: www.blm.gov/CA/st/en/fo/redding/recreationmain/reddingrecreationtehama.html