Butte County Hiking 101
Outdoor Adventurer

Hiking 101

Whether you're a seasoned hiker or brand new to getting outdoors, we've got you covered with what you need to know to get started hiking and enjoy the best of what Northern California has to offer. Get the packing list. Mira el video en Español.

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Bidwell Park Regulations

At over 11 miles long, Bidwell Park is home to many popular trails in the county. You'll find park-specific rules and advisements below, though most of the information is excellent for other trails in Butte County. Please make sure to read trail-specific rules to do your part in keeping Butte County trails clean and available to everyone!

Be Prepared

Be sure you have everything you need to stay safe and comfortable, including water, sun protection, and appropriate clothes and shoes.

Watch for hazards, such as downed trees. You may also encounter poison oak, ticks, rattlesnakes, large wildlife, swift water, or steep drop-offs. Avoid danger by staying on designated trails and exploring with a friend.

Prohibited Items
  • Alcohol
  • Glass
  • All smoking and vaping
  • Camping
  • Campfires and BBQs outside of designated areas
  • Excessive noise
  • Harming or removal of wildlife, vegetation, rocks, artifacts, etc.


When you explore, leave no trace behind. Pack in what you pack out, pick up after yourself, and keep the trails better than you found them for the next person to enjoy.

Trail & Safety Etiquette

Please stay on designated trails and roads for safety and to prevent resource damage—tread lightly!

During wet conditions, trails are closed to bicycles and horses to reduce erosion. Upper Park Road is open for bike and equestrian use during wet conditions.

Yahi Trail is pedestrian-only; all other trails in Upper Bidwell Park are mixed-use for bicycles and/or horses.

Trail safety and courtesy are Bidwell Park standards. Please yield to other users as appropriate.

When on the trail, equestrians have the right away - both pedestrians and bicyclists must yield to them, and bicyclists must also yield to pedestrians.

Bicyclists must observe all California vehicular codes, including one-way streets. Bicycle riding is not allowed in Caper Acres, on the Sycamore Pool deck, and on the Yahi Trail. Bike helmets must be worn at all times on unpaved roads.

Motorized vehicles are only allowed on designated roads and in established parking areas.

Horses must cross at designated creek crossings and are not allowed in the One-Mile or Five-Mile Recreation Area.


Lower Park: Dogs may be off leash from 5:30am until 8:30am and must remain under voice control. Dogs must be on leash at all other times.

Upper Park: Dogs may be off leash on the north side of Upper Park Road and must remain under voice control. Dogs must be on leash in all areas on and south of Upper Park Road.

Swimming Areas: Dogs are not allowed in Sycamore Pool, on the pool deck, or the surrounding grass area in Lower Park. Dogs are also not allowed in any other named swimming hole in Bidwell Park.

Dogs are prohibited from harassing or harming wildlife or people.

CA State Parks Regulations

California State Parks runs the Lake Oroville State Recreation Area and Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park, so make sure you review their detailed guidelines before enjoying one of the trails in those areas.

General Tips

Leave only footprints; take only memories.

Natural scenery, plants, and animal life are protected by federal, state, and park laws, so disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly forbidden.

Dogs must be on a tended leash no more than 6 feet or confined in an enclosed vehicle, tent or pen. Unless posted to the contrary, dogs are not allowed on trails or day-use areas around Lake Oroville; they are allowed in parking lots, paved roadways, and campgrounds.

Smoking is not permitted on State Park trails.

Place all garbage, cigarettes, paper boxes, bottles, ashes and other rubbish in designated receptacles.

COVID-19 Guidlines

State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:

  • Stay Local –Stay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead – The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
  • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For More Information


Phone: (530) 896-7800

Road & Trail Conditions Hotline: (530) 896-7899

Website, Facebook


Phone: (530) 538-2200

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