Fre­quent­ly Asked Questions

Where is Butte County?

Butte Coun­ty is locat­ed in the Shas­ta Cascade region of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, also known as the North State or Upstate Cal­i­for­nia. It is 1.25 hours south­east from the Red­ding air­port, 1.5 hours north from Sacra­men­to Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, and 3.5 hours north­east from San Fran­cis­co Inter­na­tion­al Air­port. It is acces­si­ble via High­ways 99 and 70 from north to south and High­way 32 from the east and west.

How big is Butte County?

Butte Coun­ty is 1,677 total square miles with a pop­u­la­tion den­si­ty of 132 peo­ple per square mile, as of 2022. To put that in per­spec­tive, Sacra­men­to Coun­ty has 1,678 peo­ple per square mile in only 994 total square miles. This means that Butte Coun­ty offers lots of space for res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike to enjoy!

How many peo­ple live in Butte County?

Accord­ing to 2022 esti­mates, the pop­u­la­tion across the entire coun­ty was 207,303. The largest city is Chico — with a pop­u­la­tion of 101,299, it is home to near­ly 49% of the peo­ple liv­ing in Butte County!

How can I trav­el to Butte County?

Hop in the car and enjoy a road trip! High­way 99, High­way 70, and High­way 32 all pass through Butte Coun­ty and can get you to the major cities and towns. If you’re look­ing to save some time on the road, you can fly into Sacra­men­to (SMF) or Red­ding Munic­i­pal Air­port and enjoy a short­er dri­ve with a rental.

How do you pro­nounce Butte”?

You pro­nounce it the same way as the first syl­la­ble in beau­ti­ful” (“BUT­TEi­ful”).

What cities are in Butte County?

Butte Coun­ty hous­es four cities—Chico, Oroville, Gri­d­ley, and Big­gs—as well as the Town of Par­adise.

It also has 17 cen­sus-des­ig­nat­ed places: Ban­gor, Berry Creek, Butte Creek Canyon, Butte Mead­ows, Butte Val­ley, Chero­kee, Clip­per Mills, Cohas­set, Con­cow, Durham, Forbestown, For­est Ranch, Hon­cut, Kel­ly Ridge, Mag­a­lia, Nord, Oroville East, Paler­mo, Racker­by, Rich­vale, Robin­son Mill, South Oroville, Stir­ling City, Ther­mal­i­to, and Yan­kee Hill. 

The 11 unin­cor­po­rat­ed com­mu­ni­ties in the coun­ty are Cen­ter­ville, Cres­ta, DeSabla, Dodge Place, Hell­town, Inskip, Irish Town, Lomo, Love­lock, Min­er­al Slide, and Powerllton.

Will any­thing fun be hap­pen­ing while I’m visiting?

There’s always fun events hap­pen­ing in Butte Coun­ty! Check out our events cal­en­dar to see what’s hot while you’re in town, and find even more events on Butte365.

What is there to do in Chico CA?

Chico is the urban cen­ter of Butte Coun­ty. It’s home to expan­sive and beau­ti­ful Bid­well Park, with wood­land trails, some of the best urban swim­ming holes in the coun­try, a golf course, an obser­va­to­ry, and more. Bid­well Man­sion State His­toric Park is the for­mer home of local pio­neers John and Annie Bid­well. There are a vari­ety of arts and cul­tur­al activ­i­ties through­out the city, includ­ing muse­ums, live per­for­mance spaces, glass blow­ing stu­dios, and art gal­leries. Down­town Chico is home to the din­ing and shop­ping hub, where you’ll find dozens of local eater­ies and unique stores to explore. With the Sacra­men­to Riv­er bor­der­ing its west­ern edge, you can also enjoy tub­ing, kayak­ing, and beach­side adven­tures. And of course, no vis­it is com­plete with­out a trip to Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ing Co. and the oth­er local brew­eries mak­ing names for themselves. 

For more infor­ma­tion about Chico busi­ness­es and attrac­tions, check out the web­sites of Down­town Chico Busi­ness Association , the City of Chico , and the Chico Cham­ber of Commerce .

What is there to do in Oroville CA?

Oroville is the gate­way to a vari­ety of out­door adven­tures. At the cen­ter of the city is Lake Oroville, where you’ll find plen­ty of space for water ski­ing, house boat­ing, kayak­ing, and fish­ing year-round (as well as some unique-to-Lake Oroville gems like float­ing camp­grounds). Phan­tom Falls on the North Table Moun­tain Eco­log­i­cal Reserve is a sea­son­al water­fall that flows in the win­ter and spring, while the year-round Feath­er Falls is one of the pret­ti­est water­falls in the state. The near­by Feath­er Riv­er—just min­utes from Down­town Oroville—pro­vides great kayak­ing and fish­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, with a great view of the salmon and trout migra­tions at the near­by Feath­er Riv­er Fish Hatch­ery. Down­town Oroville is also home to fun shops and restau­rants as well as his­to­ry-focused muse­ums, and you can also enjoy a vari­ety of winer­ies through­out the city. 

For more infor­ma­tion about Oroville busi­ness­es and attrac­tions, check out the web­sites for the Down­town Oroville Busi­ness Association , the City of Oroville web­site and the Oroville Cham­ber of Commerce .

What is there to do in Par­adise CA?

Par­adise and the Par­adise Ridge com­mu­ni­ties, includ­ing Mag­a­lia, Con­cow, Yan­kee Hill, and oth­ers, offer high­er-ele­va­tion adven­tures through pine tree forests. Through­out the area, you’ll find beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al land­scapes, includ­ing Bille Park in Par­adise and Par­adise Lake in Mag­a­lia, annu­al events and muse­ums cel­e­brat­ing the region’s gold rush past, and antique shops, bou­tiques, and oth­er local businesses. 

For more infor­ma­tion about Par­adise Ridge busi­ness­es and attrac­tions, check out the web­sites for the Town of Paradise , the Par­adise Ridge Cham­ber of Commerce , and Wel­come to the Ridge .

What is there to do in Gri­d­ley and Big­gs CA?

Gri­d­ley, the gate­way to Butte Coun­ty on High­way 99, offers vis­i­tors a quaint down­town area fea­tur­ing his­toric build­ings, local­ly run shops, and a hyper-local his­to­ry muse­um show­cas­ing the deep com­mu­ni­ty roots. It’s also home to the coun­ty fair­grounds, which bus­tles with ener­gy every August dur­ing the annu­al Butte Coun­ty Fair. In fall and win­ter, the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area is home to thou­sands of migra­to­ry birds, mak­ing it a per­fect spot for bird­ers and hunters. Neigh­bor­ing Big­gs is a small farm­ing com­mu­ni­ty sur­round­ed by rice fields and orchards and offers a quaint, qui­et life for its res­i­dents, with the main dri­ve B Street, lined with his­toric build­ings, busiest dur­ing the Big­gs annu­al 4th of July celebration. 

For more infor­ma­tion about Gri­d­ley and Big­gs busi­ness­es and attrac­tions, check out the web­sites for the City of Gridley , the City of Biggs , and the Gri­d­ley Area Cham­ber of Commerce .

What else is there to do in the rest of Butte County?

Out­side of the main cities, you’ll find even more adven­tures in Butte County’s cen­sus des­ig­nat­ed places and unin­cor­po­rat­ed com­mu­ni­ties. Enjoy a laid-back day of wine tast­ing at one of the region’s two wine dis­tricts — either at the Durham Wine Dis­trict, just south of Chico, or the Ban­gor Wine & Spir­its Region, just south of Oroville. In the high coun­try — the area north of Paradise/​northeast of Chico, along High­way 32 — com­mu­ni­ties includ­ing Butte Mead­ows and Jonesville , turn into snow-cov­ered won­der­lands dur­ing win­ter and ear­ly fall. There, you can enjoy snow­mo­bil­ing, snow­shoe­ing, and cross-coun­try ski­ing. And through­out the coun­ty, you can dis­cov­er beau­ti­ful hid­den gems, if you’re just will­ing to explore, such as miles of rice fields in Rich­vale, one of the pret­ti­est parks in the coun­ty at Clotilde Mer­lo Park in Stir­ling City, miles of hik­ing and bik­ing trails, lakes and rivers, and more.

What are the best places to eat in Butte County?

Whether you find your­self in Chico, Oroville, Par­adise, Gri­d­ley, or Big­gs, you’ll find plen­ty of con­ve­nient and afford­able places to eat in Butte Coun­ty. From grab-and-go grub, per­fect for enjoy­ing while on the trails, to leisure­ly farm-to-table expe­ri­ences, there’s a restau­rant (or din­er or pub or eatery or…) for you! Check out the best of our local and unique Butte Coun­ty restau­rants on our din­ing page.

What’s the weath­er like in Butte County?

Even with cities and towns in the Sacra­men­to Val­ley, Sier­ra Neva­da foothills, and Lassen and Plumas Nation­al Forests, you’ll find that the weath­er in Butte Coun­ty is sun­ny and dry most of the time, per­fect for hav­ing fun year-round! While in Butte Coun­ty, you’ll enjoy hot, dry sum­mers, warm Autumns, mild win­ters, and cool springs. In the val­ley, Chico and Oroville tend to be a lit­tle hot­ter than up-in-the-foothills Par­adise, while you can even enjoy some fun win­ter­time snow-filled activ­i­ties up in the high­er ele­va­tions at Butte Mead­ows and Jonesville.

What are the best places to stay in Butte County?

Butte County’s accom­mo­da­tions range from your favorite hotel brands to afford­able inde­pen­dent motels to RV parks (with more com­ing every year!). With near­ly 2,000 rooms to choose from, you can find your next night’s sleep or event space in Butte Coun­ty on our Stay page.

What are oth­er fun facts about Butte County?

  • Butte Coun­ty has eight ghost towns: Bidwell’s Bar, Butte Creek, Cen­ter Ville, Couto­lenc, Dia­mondville, Forks of Butte Creek, Hamil­ton, and Lynchburg.

  • The icon­ic oak tree in Gone with the Wind was in Butte Coun­ty; unfor­tu­nate­ly, the tree was destroyed 2018’s Camp Fire. The cot­ton fields of Tara and the O’Hara’s first horse ride were also filmed in Chico and Par­adise Ridge locations.
  • Butte Coun­ty has been the film site for sev­er­al movies and shows, large and small, over the decades, includ­ing: The Adven­tures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), Mag­ic Town (1947), The Out­law of Josey Wales (1976), Ruby Ridge: An Amer­i­can Tragedy (mini-series, 1996), George B. (1997), and Under Wraps (1997)
  • The first sus­pen­sion bridge built west of the Mis­sis­sip­pi was Oroville’s Bid­well Bar Bridge .