Get Outside in Butte Meadows
Get your wheels dirty in a pristine, high-elevation Sierra Nevada setting, by heading up Highway 32 from Chico and exploring the lakes, dirt roads and trails of Butte Meadows. The area is pocked by Sierra lakes, meadows and streams, and open for exploration by off-roaders with a sense of adventure (so make sure you're driving an appropriate vehicle!). Experience the pine and granite environment of upper elevation Butte County by navigating the roads and trails throughout Butte Meadows.
The Colby Mountain Lookout is an advanced trail containing 60 miles of trails with three loops, flowing creeks and lush green meadows that may be very marshy. The trails have great footing but some roads can be a little rocky. Colby Mountain has a fire lookout that affords a panoramic view of Lassen National Forest. This ride offers solitude and good odds of seeing wildlife such as bears and deer.
There are also four additional trails in the vicinity, ranging from 11.7 to 30.2 miles in length. The longest trail in Butte Meadows is Humbug Summit, a well-known trail measuring 30.2 miles in total length, while the most popular trail is Spring Valley Lake to Ben Lamond.
The Cherry Hill Hike is a 1.31 mi with a total ascent of 773.76 feet and has a maximum elevation of 5,745.93 feet. There are other hiking paths in the area to enjoy!
Those looking for unique winter adventures should check out yurt rentals through Chico State's Adventure Outings. Their yurt is located in the backcountry of Lassen National Forest near Butte Meadows, with access to great outdoor recreation. You'll even need to snowshoe to its location and possibly dig it out of the snow when you get there—adventures from start to finish! Make sure to check the reservation website in the fall for the following year, as they fill up fast!
Approximately one hour driving time from Chico. Take Hwy 32 heading east. About 15 miles beyond Forest Ranch, turn right on Humboldt Road. About five miles past Butte Meadows turn left into the Jonesville Snowmobile Area parking lot. Head back along the road to pick up the trail through some wood fences, cross the creek, and you will come to one of the marked trails.