Upper Bidwell Park’s Middle Trail is a staple, and the Middle Trail-Live Oak-Upper Trail Loop will provide a fun and not-too-hard challenge.
Starting and ending at Horseshoe Lake, the hike east along Middle Trail is easy and relatively flat. At the Live Oak Trail marker, begin your ascent to Upper Trail, which is steep with some rocky terrain. Once atop the bluff, Upper Trail back to the parking area is wide and easy to follow. Upper Trail and Live Oak are multi-use trails, so watch for mountain bikers along the narrow Live Oak trail.
Start from Parking Lot A to add about 1.5 miles (total) to the hike.
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Length & Type: 4.2 mile loop
Best Used: Accessible year-round
Trail Map: Upper Bidwell Park Map
Other Information: Make sure to download the above Upper Bidwell Park map (or pick up a paper copy from the Chico Chamber or the City of Chico Parks Department) prior to your hike to familiarize yourself with where to find the trailhead and to use on the hike, as cell service is weak and spotty on the trail.
From Hwy 99 take the East Ave. exit east. Follow East Ave. towards Manzanita Ave. At the roundabout take the second exit for Wildwood Avenue. Continue onto Upper Park Road, turn left for Parking Area C at the Chico Community Observatory.