The river begins way up near the Oregon border in the northeast corner of the state as the Pit River. A shorter tributary, the Sacramento River proper, begins on the slopes of Mt. Shasta. Along with the McCloud River, they meet at Shasta Lake and flow from there through the valley, past downtown Sacramento, into the Sacramento Delta, and then on to the San Francisco Bay.
You can learn a lot more about the river on these sites:
As one of the defining natural and recreational features of the Sacramento Valley, photographs of the river can do a lot to communicate the character and lifestyle in our region.
Here are a few of my images of the Sacramento River at its tributaries:
The Pit River at Fall River Mills, in far northeastern California
Boaters on the Sacramento River near Anderson
The Sacramento River at Sacramento
The Sacramento skyline reflected in the Sacramento River
Clouds reflected in the Sacramento River near Knights Landing
The Sacramento River at Rio Vista in the Sacramento Delta