• Thermalito Afterbay, California, USA
Visit Website

Ther­mal­i­to After­bay, a diver­sion pool down­stream of Lake Oroville, is a fun option for boaters and pad­dlers. With 17 miles of shore­line and 4,300 sur­face acres of water, the Ther­mal­i­to After­bay is open for boat­ing, swim­ming, fish­ing, pic­nick­ing, and lim­it­ed hunt­ing. No-wake speed lim­its before and after sun­set allow for peace­ful pad­dling, swim­ming and fishing.

Small­er and shal­low­er than Lake Oroville, the After­bay is locat­ed between High­ways 70 and 99, eas­i­ly acces­si­ble from Oroville, Chico and Par­adise. While sim­i­lar to the Ther­mal­i­to Fore­bay, the After­bay allows more exten­sive motor­ized water­craft use, includ­ing motor­ized boats with two- and four-stroke motors and jet skis, and has a greater focus on preser­va­tion and enhance­ment of wildlife habi­tat areas. 

The sur­face and shore­line are with­in the Oroville Wildlife Area, but the Depart­ment of Water Resources man­ages the recre­ation facil­i­ties and boat ramps. There are also sev­er­al unde­vel­oped dis­persed boat-in day use sites and a water-ski course. Access is good by exist­ing roads, trails, and watercraft.

Mon­u­ment Hill Day Use Area

At Mon­u­ment Hill, enjoy 10 pic­nic tables, nine BBQs, four flush toi­lets, includ­ing an ADA acces­si­ble one, a fish clean­ing sta­tion, and a swim­ming beach. There are 10 sin­gle-vehi­cle park­ing spaces (one ADA) and 39 vehicle/​trailer com­bi­na­tion spaces (three ADA). Addi­tion­al­ly, there is a grad­ed and grav­eled park­ing area approx­i­mate­ly 60 yards square in area that pro­vides room for about 30 to 40 addi­tion­al vehi­cles with trailers.

There is also a two-lane boat ramp with a float­ing dock on the east­ern shore­line of the Afterbay.

Trail Access

The Brad Free­man Trail can be accessed from three dif­fer­ent trail­head access points:

  • Toland Road: locat­ed at the north­west cor­ner of the After­bay; gat­ed with road­side park­ing only; no devel­oped facil­i­ties at this site
  • Tres Vias: con­nects about 1.5 miles direct­ly to the east of the Toland Road trail access north of the After­bay; con­sists of a dirt lot and dirt road/​trail; no devel­oped facil­i­ties at this site
  • East Hamil­ton Road: pic­nic table and small grav­el park­ing area that fits about five vehi­cles avail­able at this site

Oth­er Amenities

  • An unde­ter­mined num­ber of prim­i­tive camp­sites at an area just north of and adja­cent to the After­bay outlet
  • Paved run­way for mod­el air­craft near North Wilbur Road at the After­bay Canal