Chico Outdoor Adventurer

Explore Butte Creek

Butte Creek is a 110-mile trib­u­tary to the Sacra­men­to Riv­er that trav­els through Butte Creek Canyon, a spec­tac­u­lar mini-Grand Canyon, as it reach­es the Sacra­men­to Val­ley floor and flows towards the south­west­ern cor­ner of the coun­ty. Butte Creek pro­vides water for agri­cul­ture, a vari­ety of wildlife, and recre­ation opportunities.


Pad­dle or float the clas­sic run that goes from Cen­ter­ville Bridge to the beau­ti­ful Hon­ey Run Cov­ered Bridge. This float does not require any seri­ous white­wa­ter skills, but does remove you from the crowds on the Sacra­men­to Riv­er.

To find the put-in, take Sky­way from Chico and take a left on Hon­ey Run Road. Once the loca­tion of the for­mer Hon­ey Run Cov­ered Bridge comes into sight, take a left onto Cen­ter­ville Road, and take that 6 miles to the Cen­ter­ville Bridge.

Hik­ing & More

Explore Butte Creek on-foot at the Butte Creek Eco­log­i­cal Pre­serve, or take in expan­sive views from above at the Butte Creek Water­shed Over­look.


Since the mid-1990s, a com­plex col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ship between a vari­ety of orga­ni­za­tions have helped rebuild the pop­u­la­tion of endan­gered spring-run Chi­nook salmon (learn more in the video below). From Keep Calm and Fly Fish : Butte Creek is a trib­u­tary of the Sacra­men­to Riv­er that is quite unique in that it hosts great runs of endan­gered spring-run king salmon. Anadro­mous fish swim up from the low­er reach­es of the creek nav­i­gat­ing their way through the end­less sloughs in the val­ley to get to the fur­thest point upstream, a nat­ur­al bar­ri­er about one mile below the Cen­ter­ville Head dam.”

Where to Fish

  • Above Cen­ter­ville Head Dam: Open all year, five trout.
  • Cen­ter­ville Head Dam to Oro-Chico Bridge in Durham: Open Novem­ber 15 through Feb­ru­ary 15, catch and release only, bar­b­less hooks.
  • Below Oro-Chico Bridge: Open all year, no salmon or trout may be taken.

Learn More

Find more infor­ma­tion about Butte Creek at Friends of Butte Creek. You can also learn more about Butte Creek Canyon and its com­mu­ni­ties at the Col­man Muse­um.