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Sacramento River

The Sacramento River is the longest river entirely within the U.S. state of California. Starting at the confluence of the South Fork and Middle Fork Sacramento River, near Mount Shasta in the Cascade Range, the Sacramento flows south for 447 miles, through the northern Central Valley of California, between the Pacific Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada.

What do you know about the Sacramento River? Explore the Quick US Geography Rivers and Streams Quiz.  "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1. At the confluence of the South Fork and Middle Fork Sacramento River, what is the elevation?

  • 3,858 feet
  • 3,958 feet
  • 4,058 feet

2. What is the curved gravity concrete dam (National ID No. CA10186) on the Sacramento River above Redding, California near Shasta Lake City built between 1938 and 1945?

  • Shasta Dam
  • Smokin Dam
  • Redding Dam

3. Where does the Pit River flow into the Sacramento River?

  • Lake McGruder
  • Lake Reynolds
  • Lake Shasta

4. What major tributary joins in at the Pit River Bridge on Interstate 5, five miles north of the City of Shasta Lake.

  • Arness River
  • McCloud River
  • Gunsight River

5. What is the major tributary that discharges to the Sacramento River from the north approximately 20 mi NNW of Sacramento?

  • Byte River
  • Feather River
  • Morgan River

6. What is the major tributary that runs from the Sierra Nevada mountains through the Sacramento metro where it flows into the Sacramento River on its way to San Francisco Bay. It is known for its whitewater rapids.

  • Sutter River
  • Hangmen River
  • American River

7. Below Sacramento, the river enters the Sacramento River Delta. What river joins?

  • San Joaquin River
  • San Jose River
  • Fresno River

8. The Sacramento River helped form the track of a trade and travel route known as the Siskiyou Trail, which stretched from California's Central Valley to the Pacific Northwest. The Siskiyou Trail closely paralleled the Sacramento River and took advantage of the valleys and canyons carved by the river through the rugged terrain of Northern California. Based on the original footpaths of American Indians, the Siskiyou Trail was expanded by Hudson's Bay Company trappers in the 1820s, and expanded further by California Gold Rush "Forty-Niners" in the 1850s. Today, Interstate 5 and the Union Pacific Railroad occupy the path of the ancient Siskiyou Trail.

  • True or False?

9. Every year in October, California's native King Salmon (Chinook) return to the river from the Pacific Ocean to migrate upstream to spawning grounds. This migration attracts thousands of sport fisherman from all over America. Yearly salmon runs can stretch all the way through December.

  • True or False?

10. The mouth of the Sacramento River is Suisun Bay. What is the elevation?

  • 9 feet
  • 12 feet
  • 15 feet


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