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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: 1,000,000
Area: 22,100 Acres
Lat: 39.5389 / -121.4844
Nearby Services
Gas-Oroville, 2 miles MilesFood-Oroville, 3 miles MilesLodging-Oroville, 3 miles Miles
Site Facilities
Brochure/Species List Bus Accessible Camping/lodging
Drinking Water Fee Gift Shop/Bookstore
Interpretive Signs Lookouts Restrooms
Trails Trash Cans Visitor Center/Ranger Station
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Top Banner Photo Credits
Pam Starr
Alyn Robert Brereton
Julie MacKinnon
Linda Pittman
Parham Pourahmad
Larry Whiting
Randall Finley
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area - Site # 292
RegionalRegional - worth visiting if you are already in the area. They may be located farther from populated areas or with more limited wildlife species.

Background: The 15,400 acres of Lake Oroville impounded behind the tallest dam in the nation set in the Sierra Nevada foothills create an opportunity for the public to easily access a rugged beautiful landscape for recreation and getting close to nature. Lake Oroville SRA offers 77 miles of hiking trails wending through a combination of habitats such as dense foothill chaparral, steep forested Feather River Canyon walls, riparian drainages, oak woodlands, and higher mixed pine and oak woodlands. Wide well maintained trails, the proximity of the interpretive Visitor Center, and the opportunity to see a diverse array of mammals, raptors, waterfowl, and song birds attract families, travelers, and outdoor lovers, both new and experienced.
The Visitor Center dioramas depict a timeless setting of chaparrel biome with a native Maidu indian activites displayed, a re-creation of an early pioneer trading post, and a scene of the gold rush.

The Habitat: At the 900-foot-high water elevation, the forested treeline circumscribes 167 miles of the reservoir shores. Over 50% of this natural habitat is pine/oak/chaparral woodland, 20% is riparian woodland, 15% montane conifer, and 12% grassland.

The Experience: A visit to Lake Oroville offers an unusual opportunity to witness the juxtaposition of the modern development of the California State Water Project next to the layers of ancient and recent cultural history amid a natural environment that has remained unchanged for centuries. For thousands of years the native Concow Maidu lived peacefully in harmony with the natural elements. Then during the Gold Rush of the 1850's miners and speculators exploited the landscape for a hundred years, and only in the last fifty years has modern society begun to utilize the resources of the land so as to preserve its ecological qualities and teach these values to the public.

Wildlife and Where to Find It: Car, hiking trails from one to 10 miles, three overlooks are accessible by car, boating limited to paddling in some areas, and power boating in other areas.

Viewing Tips: The Visitor Center hosts many school groups during the fall salmon run which tour the facility and watch movies about local history and water resources. Late in the year, dropping water levels reveal the depths of the canyons beneath the high water levels of spring.

Site Notes: Lake Oroville is a testament to our ingenuity to utilize resources of the landscape while preserving much of its natural character. Scattered around the lake are three developed campsites, a dozen primitive boat-in campsites, and even 10 floating camp sites! Areas are set aside for kayaking, canoeing, and two beaches for swimming. A drive across the dam and then a stop at the Visitor Center for maps are the best way become oriented to the Park's diverse features. To see the view of the bald eagle, climb the four story observation tower to look out over the whole region from the Sutter Buttes to the south, to Snow Mountain in the coastal range to the west, to Bald Rock which looms in the east above the lake. Walk the trails to see the footprints and scat of the mammals that move about under the shaded canopy of the woodlands. Go down to the water's edge to witness the activity of the waterfowl on the diversion pool below the dam or the inlets around the water's periphery. Come back again as the seasons change to take in the colorful wildflowers, the butterflies, and the native grasses which still flourish amid the introduced exotic species.

Nearby Viewing Sites: Table Mountain, Feather Falls, Bald Rock, Oroville Wildlife Area, Bidwell Park, Chico Seed Garden

Festivals & Events: Salmon Festival
Paradise Grazing Festival
Wildflower and Nature Festival
Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway

Visitor Information: Explore Butte County - (530) 918-4585 - https://www.explorebuttecounty.com/
Viewing Site Hours of Operation are:
Staff On-site: Yes
Open: Everday
Hours: 9am - 5pm Hours and days of operation are subject
Year Round: Yes

Road Information:   Paved. 
Road Hazards: None See Access/Public Use #3
 Number of Parking Spaces: 100
Parking Fee: Yes
Proximity to viewing area:varies
 Pull-Through Parking: Yes
Parking Notes: Viewing sites are scattered over a 20 sq mile area. See Access/Public Use #3
Parking fee subject to change. See park website.

Special Tips: The visitor center is open 9am to 4:45pm daily. The park itself open 24 hours a day unless it's designated as a day-use area.

How to Get There: From Hwy 70, exit Oro Dam Blvd (Hwy 162), traveling eastbound through Oroville. Hwy 162 turns right at Olive Hwy and goes up into the foothills for approximately 5 miles. Left turn at Kelly Ridge Road, then 2 miles up the hill, the road goes right into the Visitor Center parking lot.

Contact Information
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Agency Site URL: http://www.parks.ca.gov
Physical Address:917 Kelly Ridge Road
Oroville, CA 95966
Agency 2:917 Kelly Ridge Road
Oroville, CA 95966
Manager Phone:(530) 538-2200 Contact Us:by Email
Site Phone:(530) 538-2219
County: Butte
Addition Website: