• Monkey Face, Chico, CA 95973

From afar, the Mon­key Face rock for­ma­tion looks to have a bridged brow over two eyes, sim­i­lar to a mon­key’s. This unique for­ma­tion along with expan­sive views over­look­ing Bid­well Park make the Mon­key Face Loop one of the most pop­u­lar trails in the park.

Gen­er­al­ly acces­si­ble year-round, you’ll enjoy it the most April through May and Sep­tem­ber through Novem­ber when it’s dry and not too hot. Though the trail is rocky, it’s still eas­i­ly accessed by most, with great views with­out much exer­tion, though a steep 300-feet ele­va­tion gain offers the right amount of chal­lenge. Every­one in the fam­i­ly will love look­ing out over the park and get­ting the per­fect sun­set pho­to for social media. From park­ing lot E, take one of the many trails up to the face explor­ing the outcroppings.

Once to the top of the Mon­key Face, vis­i­tors will find seclud­ed spots to watch sun­rise or sun­set or climb on rocks for a more adven­tur­ous outing. 

Key Info

Trail Dif­fi­cul­ty: Easy/​Moderate

Trail Length: Around 1 mile, but mileage can vary

Best Used: April — Novem­ber, but it’s acces­si­ble year-round

Dogs: Allowed on leash.

Trail Map: Upper Bid­well Park Map

Dri­ving Directions

From Hwy 99 take the East Ave. exit east to the round­about and take the sec­ond exit for Wild­wood Ave. Con­tin­ue on Wild­wood Ave. until it turns into Upper Park Rd. Turn left into the Park­ing Lot E, just after the Chico Rod and Gun Club. 

Tim Olson