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Credit 1 Pam Starr
2 Alyn Robert Brereton
3 Julie MacKinnon
4 Linda Pittman
5 Parham Pourahmad
6 Larry Whiting
7 Randall Finley
Visitation: 50,000+
Area: 3670 Acres
Lat: 39.774811
Lon: 121.773682
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Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Bidwell Park - Site # 28
Bidwell Park is a 3600-acre municipal park that starts at the center of the city of Chico and continues 8 miles out of the city and into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
PremiumPremium - the most significant sites, worth visiting if you have limited time. Premium sites have high wildlife values year-round, staff on site, interpretive programs and/or displays, and well-developed facilities.

Great Blue Heron at Upper Bidwell Park. Photo by Sandra MacDonald: 1024x768 Red-breasted Sapsucker at Bidwell Park. Photo by Tom Pritchard: 1024x683.02634351949

Background: Bidwell Park is divided into two areas. The 'lower park' and the 'upper park'. Although the lower park contains an abundance of wildlife as well, this Watchable Wildlife area is found in the upper park or Upper Bidwell Park. Over 100 species of birds can be found during various seasons. Although seldom seen, the Upper Park also hosts larger animals such as mountain lion, black bear, coyote, and bobcat, and provides critical winter habitat for the Eastern Tehama deer herd, the largest in California. It also provides critical habitat and spawning for threatened Spring Run Chinook salmon.
Indian caves with Indian mortar holes used for grinding acorns and other food items can be found in Upper Bidwell Park.

The Habitat: Blue Oak foothills woodland, Riparian, Grassland, Foothill Pine-Oak Woodland, Freshwater seeps/wetlands, pond.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Bring binoculars to help your wildlife viewing pleasure. Wildlife can be viewed on and around Horseshoe Lake or by taking a walk on the Yahi Trail up the Chico Creek Canyon along side the creek. With over 50 miles of trails, one can enjoy a diverse species of birds and other wildlife by choosing trails that take you through different wildlife habitats.

Viewing Tips: Park on the west (closest) side of Horseshoe lake to take advantage of the handicap-accessible pier. Park on the east (furthest) side of Horseshoe Lake if you plan to walk east into the Chico Creek Canyon or would like to use a picnic table near the lake. From either parking area, you can walk around the lake. Handicap parking is available at the parking lots on both the west and east side of Horseshoe Lake.

The Yahi Trail begins .5 miles up the road from the the east Horseshoe Lake parking lot. It continues up the Chico Creek canyon, along the creek about 3.5 miles to the end of the park. One can drive to the Yahi Trail head or, if the road is closed you can walk. Follow the Yahi Trail as far up along Big Chico Creek as you would like. You can either return on the same trail or locate a different trail further from the creek, up the hillside, to take back to your car.

If the road is open, you can drive up the dirt road into the Canyon and get out at any of the many parking locations found in the upper park. There are many photo opportunities to be found in the upper park.

Site Notes: Upper Bidwell Park is enjoyed year round by mountain bikers, hikers, joggers, walkers, bird watchers, picnickers, and in the summer, swimmers. Most of Upper Bidwell Park is undeveloped. The Yahi Trail is a good way to enjoy some of the upper park area for first time visitors. There are a number of sign posts along the trail to help point out native plants and trees.

Bidwell Park benefits from programs established by the Bureau of Reclamation's Central Valley Project Conservation Program (CVPCP) and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) Habitat Restoration Program. For more information, visit: www.usbr.gov/mp/cvpcp/aboutus.html and for information on endangered species ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/#

Visitor Information: Explore Butte County - (530) 918-4585 - www.explorebuttecounty.com/
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Everday
Hours: 7:00AM to one hour after sunset
Year Round: Yes
Seasonal: Road into Chico Creek Canyon is closed Sunday and Monday and in rainy conditions.

Road Information:   Paved.  Gravel.  Dirt. 
 Roads available year-round.
Road Hazards: Roads are sometimes washboard from use.
 Number of Parking Spaces: 100
Parking Fee: No
Proximity to viewing area:Throughout
 Pull-Through Parking: Yes
Parking Notes: 

How to Get There: From Hwy 99 in Chico take the Highway 32 exit (exit 385) and head east on Hwy 32 for 1.5 miles. Turn left on Bruce Road. Follow Bruce road (becomes Manzanita ave) for 1.8 miles to Wildwood Ave. Turn right on and follow Wildwood Ave. for 1.75 miles. Horseshoe lake is on the left.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: City of Chico
Agency Site URL: 
Physical Address:965 First Street
Chico, CA
Agency 2:P.O. Box 3420
Chico, CA 95927
Manager Phone:
Site Phone:(530) 896-7800
County: Butte
Addition Website: