Plumas County is in the Shasta Cascades region of California. The forests, rivers and mountains of Plumas County were originally inhabited by Native Americans before miners arrived during the Gold Rush, followed soon after by loggers, and today tourists visit the county for its camping, fishing, whitewater, snowshoeing, and other outdoor opportunities.
The tiny town of Greenville, home to a couple of gas stations and a few places to eat, was devastated by the "Dixie" wildfire in August 2021.
The Feather River Scenic Byway is a popular way to see the county's beauty, with the east-west route following California's first designated wild and scenic river past nearly one hundred waterfalls, historic bridges and tunnels, spring wildflowers, vivid fall colors, and the "Stairway of Power" consisting of seven hydroelectric powerhouses installed along the river.
There are more campgrounds than hotels. Many of these were affected during the 2021 wildfires.
- 1 Lassen County - Located north of Plumas County, rural Lassen County sits at the confluence of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, the volcanic Cascade Range, and the high elevation Great Basin desert. Fishing, biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities attract most visitors to the area, with the 26 mi (42 km) Bizz Johnson trail the county's most popular hiking and biking route. "The Bizz" follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad along the Susan river canyon, traversing abandoned railroad bridges, trestles and tunnels and rewarding visitors with mountain views, beautiful fall foliage, and colorful spring wildflowers.
- 2 Sierra County – Located in the mountains and forests adjacent to the Nevada border, Plumas County's southern neighbor was a booming mining area during the Gold Rush, but today is home to only about 3,000 people. Historically the county was the site of several massive gold discoveries, including the 106 pound Monumental Nugget in 1869; a replica of the huge nugget can be seen in the Kentucky Mine Museum in Sierra City.
- 3 Yuba County – Bordering Plumas County to the southwest, rural Yuba County is located along the western slope of the Sierra Nevadas, offering visitors recreational opportunities in the Plumas and Tahoe National Forests, and providing a glimpse into the area's Gold Rush past at the ghost town of Timbuctoo and neighboring Smartsville. The western side of the county is flatter, more populous, and primarily used for fruit orchards, rice fields, and grazing.
- 4 Butte County - Named for the Marysville Buttes that are actually found in neighboring Sutter County, Plumas County's western neighbor is a rural destination featuring rolling hills, rivers, and large agricultural areas. The town of Chico is a college town that is home to many excellent restaurants, massive Bidwell Park, and the National Yo-Yo Museum. The town of Oroville boasts a downtown area that dates back to the Gold Rush, and is now home to America's tallest dam (tours available), behind which sits a reservoir that is enjoyed by boaters and hikers. Further afield, 410 ft (120 m) tall Feather Falls rewards hikers willing to traverse the 8 mi (13 km) loop trail.
- 5 Tehama County - Plumas County's western neighbor, Tehama County has a quintessentially "western" feel, with most county residents employed in ranching, timber or farming, and most tourists drawn to the region for fishing, boating, hiking, and other outdoor activities. The county's largest town, Red Bluff, has a population of only about 15,000 inhabitants, but hosts the Red Bluff Round-Up, one of the west's largest annual rodeos, each spring. While there are numerous streams and rivers, the Sacramento River is the largest, intersecting the county and offering excellent fishing for rainbow trout, king salmon, chinook salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, and striped bass.
- 6 Shasta County - Plumas County's northwestern neighbor is a land of mountains, lakes and rivers. Massive Shasta Lake, California's largest reservoir, is the "houseboat capital of the world", with rentals available for those who want to vacation on the water. Several spectacular waterfalls can be found in the county, including the 129 ft (39 m) Burney Falls, which Theodore Roosevelt described as "the Eighth Wonder of the World", and McCloud River Falls, which is actually three scenic waterfalls. In the county's southeastern corner, Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to a geologic hotspot highlighted by 10,457 ft (3,187 m) Lassen Volcano. The mountain can be summitted via a steep trail, but plan to do so in the summer - the park's 600–700 inches (1,500–1,800 cm) of annual snowfall make it the snowiest place in California.