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- 1 Plumas County - Located northwest of Sierra County, 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 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.
- 2 Lassen County - Located north of Sierra 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.
- Western Nevada
- 3 Nevada County - Located south of Sierra County, Nevada County rises from the Sierra foothills to the Nevada border. The county retains many examples of its Gold Rush past, ranging from California's oldest operating theater in Nevada City to the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley, an establishment that has hosted four Presidents since its opening in 1851. Even before the Gold Rush, the county gained fame for the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846, and today the lake named for that doomed expedition is a popular recreation spot.
- 4 Yuba County - Bordering Sierra County to the west, 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.