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Sacramento River

Headwaters of the Sacramento River

Spring at Sacramento River headwaters

The Sacramento River is the longest river in the state of California.

Starting near Mount Shasta, the river flows 382 miles southwest through the northern Central Valley of California, between the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges. Shortly after being joined by the American River, it forms the Sacramento River Delta along with the San Joaquin River, and then finally flows into the north arm of the San Francisco Bay.

The river is navigable for 180 miles, and is used by ocean-going ships as far inland as the city of Sacramento.

Its chief tributaries are the Pit, Feather, McCloud, and American rivers. The Pit River is the longest tributary, but the Feather and American rivers carry larger volumes of water.