Getaway Artist Outdoor Adventurer

Best 50 Things to Do in Butte County

Whether you live here, are com­ing for an after­noon, or are stay­ing for a week, there’s plen­ty to explore in Butte Coun­ty. Enjoy your favorites or dis­cov­er some­thing new with our list of 50 Things to Do in Butte County!

Jump to: Across the Coun­ty | Gri­d­ley | Par­adise | Oroville | Chico | Beyond the Cities

Across the County

Take a Walk­ing Arts Tour

Slip on your ten­nis shoes and explore Butte Coun­ty on foot with a walk­ing arts tour. Dis­cov­er the mod­ern-mixed-with-his­tor­i­cal paint­ings and instal­la­tions through­out Chico, Gold Rush-themed murals in Oroville, and tes­ta­ments to the Ridge’s resilien­cy in Par­adise. Get ready to find some pic­ture-per­fect back­drops to fill your Insta­gram feed with!

Spend the Day Wine Tasting

With about 20 winer­ies and vine­yards, wine enthu­si­asts will find high-qual­i­ty North­ern Cal­i­for­nia wines paired with rea­son­able tast­ing fees, relaxed and invit­ing tast­ing rooms, and easy access to the wine­mak­ers across Butte Coun­ty. Dis­cov­er four winer­ies with­in six miles in the Durham Wine Dis­trict, explore south coun­ty wines in the Ban­gor Wine Region, or enjoy a few glass­es after lake adven­tures at one of the sev­er­al winer­ies in the foothills of Oroville.

Tee Up at Fun Fair­ways

Hit the greens and the links with your choice of tra­di­tion­al golf or the disc kind at a vari­ety of cours­es. At the Bid­well Park Golf Course, you play through 18-holes in the heart of Chico’s favorite park, while the ridge loca­tion of Pere­grine Point Disc Golf Course serves up epic views of the val­ley. And those with kids in tow (or those just look­ing for a fun way to prac­tice their short game) will find an 18-hole mini golf course at Fun­land Chico.

Catch a Live Show

From plays to musi­cals to con­certs of all gen­res, there is no short­age of live shows and per­for­mances to enjoy. Chico State’s Lax­son Audi­to­ri­um puts on more than 100 annu­al pro­fes­sion­al and stu­dent-led per­for­mances, while the El Rey The­ater is par­tic­u­lar­ly known for its live gigs. Up in Par­adise, the The­atre on the Ridge stages six shows a year, and Oroville’s State The­ater show­cas­es a vari­ety of per­form­ing artists, often accom­pa­nied by its Wurl­itzer Pipe Organ.

Dis­cov­er Down­town Charm

For a lit­tle bit of the best of every­thing, a stop at any of the major down­town areas is a must. Down­town Chico hosts some of the most pop­u­lar events in the coun­ty through­out the year, includ­ing Thurs­day Night Market , while in Down­town Oroville, month­ly First Fri­day events show­case the down­town busi­ness dis­trict and the annu­al Feath­er Fies­ta Days is a home­town cel­e­bra­tion of all things Oroville. For small-town down­town charm, explore Par­adise dur­ing its Gold Nugget Days or Gri­d­ley dur­ing its Red Sus­penders Days .

Best 50 Things to Do in Butte County

Learn About Region­al History

Gold Rush roots abound across the coun­ty, and the cities love to show­case their respec­tive sto­ries at local his­to­ry muse­ums. In Oroville, a tour along the Green­line will high­light not only the city’s Gold Rush found­ing but also the his­to­ries of the local Native Amer­i­can tribes and role of agri­cul­ture. Paradise’s Gold Nugget Muse­um cel­e­brates its pio­neer past, while in south coun­ty, the Gri­d­ley Muse­um show­cas­es the fam­i­lies that helped found the city as well as its growth through the 20th cen­tu­ry. Learn all about Chico at the Chico His­to­ry Muse­um or dis­cov­er mir­core­gion­al his­to­ry at the Cen­ter­ville School­house-Col­man Muse­um.

Go Antiquing

Par­adise is par­tic­u­lar­ly known for its antiquing, and you can spend an after­noon explor­ing Sky­way Antique Mall, Trea­sures from Par­adise, and Attic Trea­sures for antiques, vin­tage goods, and even con­tem­po­rary local­ly made items. In Chico, find one of the largest antique malls in the west at Eighth & Main Antique Cen­ter, while out in Oroville, Well Worn is great if you’re look­ing for unique décor and fur­ni­ture pieces.

Fall in Love with North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Art

There’s no need to dri­ve to a big city to see great art when there’s plen­ty of artis­tic spaces, big and small, right in Butte Coun­ty. At the largest of the bunch, Chico’s Muse­um of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Art (mon­ca) shines a spot­light on the tal­ents of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia artists. Near­by 1078 Gallery is a gallery and per­for­mance space for artists of cul­tur­al and geo­graph­ic diver­si­ty. Up in Par­adise, the Par­adise Art Cen­ter hous­es work from artists on the Ridge, while Brush­strokes Art Stu­dio and Gallery in Oroville is both a gallery dis­play and space for cre­ative classes.

Check Out Our Farm­ers Markets

Taste the fresh­est pro­duce around from a local farm­ers mar­ket. With the year-round Chico mar­kets on Wednes­day and Sat­ur­day and a sea­son­al on in Meri­am Park, you’ll always find some­thing deli­cious no mat­ter what time of year at a Chico Cer­ti­fied Farm­ers Mar­ket. From May through Sep­tem­ber, though, you’ll have even more oppor­tu­ni­ties as sea­son­al farm­ers mar­kets in Oroville, Par­adise, and Gri­d­ley open with the boun­ty of summer.

Pick Fresh Fruit Year-Round

If you want to get hands-on with your pro­duce, you can pick fresh fruit (and veg­eta­bles) year-round at sev­er­al Butte Coun­ty loca­tions. From May-Octo­ber, you can pick a vari­ety of fresh-from-the-vine pro­duce at John­son U‑Pick Farm in Gri­d­ley, and some­time in late June, Sier­ra Cas­cade Blue­ber­ry Farm opens for a short week or two for peo­ple to pick buck­ets of blue­ber­ries. The Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Chico’s Uni­ver­si­ty Farm offers an annu­al u‑pick peach event in August, while L&T Farms opens their farm for sum­mer peach­es, nec­tarines, and cher­ries. And in late sum­mer and through Octo­ber, Paradise’s Noble Orchards bursts with dif­fer­ent types of apples (and peach­es) that you can try through­out the sea­son as they reach peak ripeness each month. 

Taste the Best of Butte County

Boast­ing a wide array of restau­rants, from farm-to-fork to upscale to fast casu­al, and every­thing in between, Butte Coun­ty is an under-the-radar and grow­ing Cal­i­for­nia food­ie des­ti­na­tion wait­ing to be experienced.

Star Gaze

Get a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on the world with a night stargaz­ing. On Fri­day, Sat­ur­day, and Sun­day nights (weath­er depen­dent), head to the Chico Com­mu­ni­ty Obser­va­to­ry for a free view through high-pow­ered tele­scopes and to learn more about the won­ders of the night sky. In Oroville, the Fore­bay Aquat­ic Cen­ter offers sum­mer­time Moon­light Pad­dles, where you can enjoy a guid­ed kayak ride under the full moon (check the web­site for the cur­rent season’s sched­ule). And up in Par­adise, you can pad­dle Par­adise Lake and learn about the cos­mos with their Astron­o­my on the Lake pro­gram from Par­adise Recre­ation and Parks District (check the web­site for dates and times).

Take a Self-Guid­ed Cross-Coun­ty His­to­ry Tour

His­to­ry abounds in Butte Coun­ty, with dozens of his­tor­i­cal build­ings, muse­ums, and struc­tures. If you’re inter­est­ed in some of the more obscure pieces of his­to­ry, we rec­om­mend hop­ping in the car for a self-guid­ed his­to­ry tour of the 81 his­tor­i­cal markers and war memo­ri­als that can be found in towns big and small across the coun­ty. It’s a great way to learn more about the area and see a vari­ety of sights along the way.

Cast a Line

With two major rivers, one of the state’s largest reser­voirs, and count­less oth­er creeks and lakes, Butte Coun­ty is a great place for North­ern Cal­i­for­nia fish­ing. Lake Oroville is one of the best bass fish­ing spots in the coun­try and also for catch­ing land­locked king salmon. Riv­er fish­ers will find the Feath­er Riv­er one of the best places for boat or bank fish­ing of Cal­i­for­nia and King salmon and steel­head. For qui­eter spots, you can check out Butte Creek, Lake DeSabla, Par­adise Lake, Philbrook Reser­voir, or the Sacra­men­to Riv­er.

Catch an Out­door Sea­son­al Concert

Cel­e­brate sum­mer with a free out­door con­cert! On Fri­day nights, Chico’s City Plaza comes alive dur­ing the Fri­day Night Con­certs series, a sea­son­al favorite since 1978. In Par­adise, Wednes­days come alive dur­ing the Par­ty in the Park with live music and a vari­ety of ven­dors. In Oroville, enjoy spring Fri­day night Spring Con­certs in the Park and Sun­day after­noon Fall Con­certs in the Park in River­bend Park, where you can hear great per­for­mances while dip­ping your toes in the Feath­er River.

Bike 100 Miles

Cyclists will want to add an April vis­it to Butte Coun­ty at the top of their list for the annu­al Chico Velo Cen­tu­ry Wildflower . Explore 100 miles across the coun­ty on the class route or choose from half a dozen oth­er routes between 12 and 125 miles. What­ev­er route you choose, you’ll enjoy a beau­ti­ful and scenic spring­time ride.

Best 50 Things to Do in Butte County


Cel­e­brate Sum­mer at the Butte Coun­ty Fair

Since 1947, the Butte Coun­ty Fair in Gri­d­ley has been the unof­fi­cial send-off to sum­mer. Every August, the Butte Coun­ty fair­grounds come to life with a car­ni­val, ven­dors, live­stock shows, exhibits, and more, and fam­i­lies spend hours mak­ing mem­o­ries that will last until next year’s fair.

Go Bird­ing at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Bust out the binoc­u­lars and get ready to be wowed by migrat­ing birds stop­ping in Gri­d­ley. From Novem­ber through Feb­ru­ary, the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area comes to life with hun­dreds of thou­sands of birds touch­ing down dur­ing their flight from Alas­ka to South Amer­i­ca along the Pacif­ic Fly­way. With an easy trail tak­ing you to two enclosed blinds as well as an obser­va­tion deck with high-pow­ered tele­scopes, Gray Lodge is arguably the best spot in the coun­ty to see snow geese, herons, and oth­er water­fowl dur­ing the migra­tion season.


Pic­nic Among the Pines at Par­adise Lake

Par­adise Lake is a post­card-per­fect pic­ture of a serene lake sur­round­ed by a gor­geous conifer wood­land. The 244-acre lake in Mag­a­lia is per­fect for cool­er kayak­ing, canoe­ing, fish­ing, or boat­ing adven­tures, or you can stay shore­side and enjoy the shady, flat, 9‑mile out-and-back hik­ing trail that wraps around the lake. With shad­ed pic­nic areas, a play­ground, and horse­shoe pit, you can enjoy a full day at this Butte Coun­ty gem.

Taste Choco­late from Paradise

Since 1969, Joy Lyn’s Can­dies has been craft­ing sweet treats for Par­adise and the rest of Butte Coun­ty. The Hart­ley fam­i­ly, own­ers since 2000, now oper­ate the con­fec­tionery out of its new loca­tion on Pear­son Street after the orig­i­nal loca­tion was destroyed in the Camp Fire in 2018. Despite the change in address, the heav­en­ly can­dies made in Par­adise” remain as sweet as ever and are still hand-craft­ed in store — you can even watch while you shop! It’s impos­si­ble to leave with­out a bag­ful of treats, so get ready to indulge!

Stop at the Mini Grand Canyon

A road­side vista stop on the west­bound side of Sky­way Road leav­ing Par­adise, the Butte Creek Water­shed Over­look offers up great views of the Mini Grand Canyon.” Enjoy the inter­pre­tive dis­plays to learn more about the water­shed’s eco­log­i­cal role and take in the expanse of the ridge.

Pan for Gold

At the Forks of Butte Creek Recre­ation Area just north of Mag­a­lia, you can dive right into Butte County’s gold rush past. At this Bureau of Land Man­age­ment (BLM) area, you can reserve a slice of Butte Creek and try your hand at pan­ning for gold and oth­er min­er­als just like the Gold Rush­ers did in 1849, or a hike amidst the beau­ti­ful forest.


Walk Across the Nation’s Tallest Dam

At 770 feet, Oroville Dam is the country’s tallest dam as well as California’s sec­ond largest reser­voir by vol­ume. It real­ly is a sight to behold in per­son, where you can get a true appre­ci­a­tion for its scale and pow­er. Run­ning across the dam itself, Oroville Dam Road offers both vehi­cle and pedes­tri­an access, pro­vid­ing the per­fect van­tage point to see the dam and the lake it cre­ates up-close and per­son­al. Enjoy a walk across or even pack a pic­nic to enjoy at one of the day use areas as you take in the sights.

Enjoy Unique Camp­ing Opportunities

Those who pre­fer pitch­ing a tent to room ser­vice will find no short­age of spots to set up camp, but you’ll find some fun and unique camp­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties at Lake Oroville. Water enthu­si­asts can spend a few nights camp­ing right on the lake and under the stars on the only float­ing camp­sites in the state as well as sev­er­al boat-in camp­sites. Those more inter­est­ed in stay­ing on dry land should check out the glamp­ing campgrounds at Loafer Creek.

Cel­e­brate the Salmon Run

Salmon are some­thing spe­cial in Butte Coun­ty, but espe­cial­ly in Oroville. With the Feath­er Riv­er run­ning through the city, the salmon’s year­ly fall migra­tion is an annu­al cel­e­bra­tion. Vis­i­tors can go nose-to-nose with Chi­nook at the Feath­er Riv­er Fish Hatch­ery, while Down­town Oroville cel­e­brates all things salmon on the 4th Sat­ur­day of Sep­tem­ber for the Salmon Fes­ti­val .

Hike Table Mountain

Sit­u­at­ed above the city of Oroville, the North Table Moun­tain Eco­log­i­cal Reserve , more com­mon­ly known as sim­ply Table Moun­tain, offers a chance to hike through a tru­ly unique nat­ur­al area. Open for hik­ing year-round, Table Moun­tain comes to life with water­falls in late win­ter and then with wild­flow­ers in ear­ly- to mid-spring. It’s a trip worth mak­ing at least once in your life — just make sure to pay for a lands pass before you arrive and fol­low all reg­u­la­tions and leave no trace when you visit.

Hit the Slots

Boast­ing two casi­nos, there’s plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ty to hit the jack­pot in Oroville. Locat­ed just min­utes from Lake Oroville, Gold Coun­try Casino has table games and over 900 slots as well as three restau­rants and an event cen­ter, mak­ing it a per­fect addi­tion to a day on the lake. In the south part of the city, Feath­er Falls Casino fea­tures over 800 slots (300 of them in a smoke-free gam­ing area), table games, and an award-win­ning brew­ing com­pa­ny and restau­rant on site with live music on Fri­days and Sat­ur­day, per­fect for beer enthu­si­asts and those look­ing for fun week­end entertainment.

Have Fun at Lake Oroville

If you’ve nev­er vis­it­ed Lake Oroville, you’re miss­ing out. Of course there’s the prac­ti­cal­ly end­less water recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties, from boat­ing to kayak­ing to fish­ing to even camp­ing (yes, on the water!). But there’s also miles of lake­side hik­ing trails to dis­cov­er for those look­ing to stay on shore. And of course, no trip is com­plete with­out a vis­it to the Lake Oroville Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where you can learn about the lake, the dam, the region’s indige­nous tribes, and more, includ­ing enjoy­ing 360-degree views from atop the 47-foot view­ing tower.

Spend an After­noon at River­bend Park

Locat­ed along the Feath­er Riv­er, River­bend Park in Oroville is a per­fect spot for an after­noon of fun. Across its 210 acres, you can host a pic­nic at one of four pavil­ions, take an easy stroll along the Feath­er Riv­er Trail, play a pick-up game on one of the soc­cer fields, or build a sand cas­tle on a sandy beach. With play­grounds, dog park, disc golf course, and boat launch round­ing out all that there is to do, it’s easy to see how an after­noon vis­it can turn into an all-day experience.

Kayak Down the Feath­er River

While white­wa­ter enthu­si­asts will find thrills on the dif­fer­ent forks of the Feath­er Riv­er, any­one can, and should, enjoy a calmer adven­ture on the mel­low­er waters that run through Oroville. Launch­ing from the Feath­er Riv­er Fish Hatch­ery, you enjoy a relax­ing two-mile pad­dle to River­bend Park, 7.3 miles to the Ther­mal­i­to After­bay out­let, 8.7 miles to the Vance Avenue park­ing area in the Oroville Wildlife Area, or even 17 beau­ti­ful miles to the Gri­d­ley boat ramp for the ulti­mate Feath­er Riv­er expe­ri­ence. How­ev­er long you choose, you’ll see a vari­ety of wildlife along the way, includ­ing salmon dur­ing their fall run.

Best 50 Things to Do in Butte County


Kid Around at Kid-friend­ly Museums

Bring the whole fam­i­ly to get hands-on at a kid-friend­ly muse­um. At the Chico Air Muse­um, kids can get up-close and per­son­al with decom­mis­sioned air­craft and even hop into the cock­pit of a select few. Kids inter­est­ed in the STEM fields will love the Gate­way Sci­ence Muse­um and their slate of hands-on exhibits. And younger chil­dren will enjoy a few hours at the Chico Children’s Muse­um, where they can explore a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent play and cre­ative environments.

Tour Sier­ra Neva­da Brewery

A tour at the Sier­ra Neva­da Brew­ery is a must for any­one vis­it­ing Chico. Hop heads can dive deep into the brew­ing and bot­tling process on a mul­ti-hour tour (tast­ings includ­ed, of course!), while casu­al drinkers or even abstain­ers will find the dai­ly Brew­house Tour an inter­est­ing excur­sion before head­ing to the Tap­house. Pick the per­fect tour for you and reserve your spot today.

Enjoy Child’s Play at Caper Acres

Since 1970, Caper Acres has been a sta­ple of Low­er Bid­well Park. Specif­i­cal­ly built for those 12 and younger, it is a fan­ta­sy play­ground area where chil­dren can vis­it Hump­ty Dump­ty at the sand­box, swing to their heart’s con­tent, climb into a tree­house” and slip down its slides, and much more! Remem­ber, this is for kids, so any­one over the age of 13 must be accom­pa­nied by some­one 12 or younger.

Explore Bid­well Park

At 3,670 acres and with Big Chico Creek run­ning through it, there’s plen­ty to explore in Bid­well Park. In the more mel­low Low­er Bid­well, you’ll find pic­nic sites, calm swim­ming holes, and flat hik­ing and bik­ing trails, both paved and unpaved. In the wilder Upper Park, steep ter­rain and Love­joy Basalt work togeth­er to cre­ate a place per­fect for moun­tain bik­ing and more chal­leng­ing hikes as well as scenic swim­ming holes. With activ­i­ties for every abil­i­ty lev­el, there’s plen­ty to dis­cov­er, mak­ing Bid­well Park wor­thy of repeat visits.

Catch a Race at the Sil­ver Dol­lar Speedway

A quar­ter-mile dirt track at the Sil­ver Dol­lar Fair­grounds, the Sil­ver Dol­lar Speed­way is home to Fri­day night races, the annu­al Gold Cup Race of Cham­pi­ons, and oth­er spe­cial­ty events through­out the year (mon­ster trucks, any­one?). Kids and those young-at-heart will love the thrill of the track races and a dif­fer­ent kind of Fri­day night activity.

Catch a Glass Blow­ing Demonstration

Fans of blown glass will find Chico an excel­lent des­ti­na­tion to not only buy beau­ti­ful pieces but also see world-renowned art made right before their eyes. Ori­ent & Flume Art Glass Co. has work on dis­play in the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um, the Smith­son­ian Muse­um, and the Chica­go Art Insti­tute, but you can watch mas­ters in work at their local stu­dio. At Sata­va Art Glass Stu­dio, you can pick up one of their famous jel­ly­fish pieces and enjoy stu­dio view­ing for most of the year. 

Hit the Streets at Thurs­day Night Market

From April through Sep­tem­ber, the streets of Down­town Chico come alive dur­ing Thurs­day Night Market . One part cer­ti­fied organ­ic farm­ers mar­ket, one part ven­dor fair, and one part food truck event, it’s the best time to explore local shops, restau­rants, and the over­all Chico vibe. Whether you come once or once a week, it’s always a good time.

Ice Skate

Come Novem­ber, it’s time to bun­dle up and prac­tice your spins on one of Butte County’s sea­son­al out­door skat­ing rink. With its loca­tion right in the heart of Down­town Chico, the Chico Ice Rink in the Plaza . it’s a great spot for mak­ing an evening of skat­ing, shop­ping, and dining!

Tour the Vic­to­ri­an Man­sion of Chico’s Founder

John Bid­well, famed 19th cen­tu­ry states­man, politi­cian, and Chico city founder, looms large in the city. From parks to street signs, his influ­ence remains, and no more so than at his Vic­to­ri­an man­sion. At the Bid­well Man­sion State His­toric Park, you can tour the three-sto­ry tes­ta­ment to all that Bid­well and his wife, Annie, did for Chico. Remem­ber to make your reser­va­tion in advance or enjoy a free stroll through the vis­i­tor cen­ter with­out any reser­va­tions needed.

Tube Down the Sacra­men­to River

A sum­mer in Chico isn’t com­plete with­out a day spent tub­ing the Sacra­men­to Riv­er. Start­ing at the Irvine Finch Riv­er Access, you can enjoy a cou­ple of hours lazi­ly float­ing down­stream, end­ing at Scotty’s Land­ing, Butte County’s famous river­side restau­rant. Those want­i­ng to stay close to shore can still enjoy fish­ing, wildlife watch­ing, hik­ing near­by trails, and just splash­ing around on the riverbank.

Take a Spin at the Nation­al Yo-Yo Museum

With the Nation­al Yo-Yo Muse­um locat­ed in town, Chico is prac­ti­cal­ly the mec­ca of yo-yos in the Unit­ed States. Tucked inside Bird in Hand, a pop­u­lar Down­town gift shop, the muse­um fea­tures the world’s largest pub­lic dis­play of yo-yos, yo-yo mem­o­ra­bil­ia, and con­test awards. You’ll also find Big-Yo, 1982’s Guin­ness Book of World Records World’s Biggest Work­ing Wood­en Yo-Yo. And if you stop by on Sat­ur­day after­noons, you can enjoy free yo-yo lessons from vol­un­teer instruc­tors (and may even get to meet Chico native and two-time world yo-yo cham­pi­on Gen­try Stein if he’s visiting).

Take a Dip in Urban Swim­ming Holes

From easy and kid-friend­ly to rugged and remote, there’s a spot for any explor­er at Chico’s Bid­well Park’s (best in the state) urban swim­ming holes. In Low­er Park, Sycamore Pool is a con­crete pool built into the flow­ing waters of Big Chico Creek, mak­ing it per­fect for fam­i­lies, while Five Mile and Upper Park’s Alli­ga­tor Hole are oth­er oth­er calm and shal­low kid-friend­ly spots. Fur­ther up in Upper Park, Bear Hole is the most pop­u­lar and eas­i­est to get to, with Salmon Hole and Brown’s Hole increas­ing­ly remote and beau­ti­ful places to take a dip.

Hit the Bars

Enjoy a night on the town at some of Chico’s favorite bars. Riley’s is a long­time favorite among the col­lege crowd and was vot­ed Barstool Sports Best Col­lege Bar in Amer­i­ca in 2021. Anoth­er col­lege favorite is Madi­son Bear Gar­den (more affec­tion­ate­ly known as sim­ply The Bear), which has famous burg­ers and is prac­ti­cal­ly on cam­pus at Chico State, mak­ing it a pop­u­lar spot. Those look­ing for bars with more of a locals” vibe should check out Duffy’s to catch a game or a live show. For some­thing a lit­tle more upscale, Argus Bar + Patio fea­tures some of the best craft cock­tails in town. What­ev­er you’re look­ing for, there’s a bar for you in Chico.

Get Edu­cat­ed at Chico State University

Edu­ca­tion and fun com­bine at Chico State Uni­ver­si­ty, where you can learn almost as much out­side the class­room as you can in it. A cam­pus tour is a great way to explore the sec­ond old­est cam­pus in the Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem, and with Down­town Chico lit­er­al­ly across the street, you can real­ly enjoy a stu­dent-like expe­ri­ence. As you explore cam­pus, make sure to explore the vari­ety of muse­ums, gal­leries, and per­for­mance spaces that are both spaces for stu­dents and pros to show­case their tal­ents as well as top-notch attrac­tions for visitors.

Beyond the Cities

Explore Ear­ly Pio­neer Towns

Through­out Butte Coun­ty, you’ll find small towns that stand as reminders of the ear­ly pio­neers that flocked to the region dur­ing the Gold Rush and sub­se­quent log­ging boom. Found­ed by min­ers, Inskip today is a ghost town with only its hotel remain­ing as a tes­ta­ment to the thou­sand who once lived there. In Chero­kee, home to the indige­nous Maidu before gold min­ers set up camp, all that remains is a muse­um and ceme­tery. Near­by Ore­gon City, found­ed by a par­ty of Ore­go­ni­ans in 1848, is home to the Ore­gon City School, now run as a muse­um by the Butte Coun­ty His­tor­i­cal Society . While in Ore­gon City, enjoy a dri­ve through a cov­ered bridge that, while built in 1984, trans­ports you back in time with its peri­od design, com­plete with wood­en trusses.

Hike to the High­est Point in the County

Up in Butte County’s high coun­try, hik­ers can tack­le a 12-mile stretch of the famed Pacif­ic Crest Trail and stand atop the high­est point in the coun­ty at the same time. If you’re not quite ready to under­take all 12 miles at once, you’ll want to start near Hum­bug Sum­mit at Cold springs. From there, it’s only 4.8 miles to a short spur trail that leads to the high­est point in Butte Coun­ty at 7,140 feet, where you can take in panoram­ic views of the moun­tains below.

Snow­shoe Through a Win­ter Wonderland

What Butte Coun­ty lacks in terms of ski slopes and extreme win­ter sports, it makes up for with more low-key yet fun expe­ri­ences in the high coun­try, which turns into a win­ter won­der­land once the snow sea­son begins. At the Jonesville Snow­mo­bile Park , snow­mo­bil­ers can explore over 60 miles of groomed trails, while the Col­by Mead­ows Win­ter Recre­ation Area offers nine miles of ungroomed cross-coun­try ski trails. And both Jonesville and Col­by Mead­ows are great spots for snow­shoe explorations. 

Best 50 Things to Do in Butte County

Take a Scenic Dri­ve on the Feath­er Riv­er Byway

Few Cal­i­for­nia high­ways fea­ture such nat­ur­al beau­ty and diver­si­ty in ter­rain, land­scape, wildlife and ele­va­tion as the 60-mile Feath­er Riv­er Canyon sec­tion of the Feath­er Riv­er Scenic Byway along High­way 70 East through Butte and Plumas coun­ties. Fol­low­ing the North Fork of the Feath­er Riv­er, this area was one of the orig­i­nal rivers des­ig­nat­ed as Wild and Scenic Scenic under the The Nation­al Wild and Scenic Rivers Sys­tem in 1968, pro­tect­ing its spe­cial char­ac­ter. A dri­ve through the canyon show­cas­es spring wild­flow­ers, fall col­ors, bridges, and more, and is a per­fect leg to any road trip adventure.

White Water Raft on the Feath­er River

With a steady dose of dam-released water from Lake Almanor, the North Fork Feath­er Riv­er holds some of the best year-round white­wa­ter in Cal­i­for­nia. But three to four times a sum­mer, from June to Sep­tem­ber, the Rock Creek Reach por­tion of the North Fork con­tains Class III, IV, and V rapids dur­ing recre­ation high-water flows, mak­ing it a must for thrill-seek­ing and expe­ri­enced rafters and kayakers.

Rock Climb In and Around the County

With Butte Coun­ty as your anchor, you’ll find no short­age of near­by crags to climb. For urban climbs, head to Chico to scale the basalt in Upper Bid­well Park or prac­tice ever-chang­ing routes at the indoors Ter­rain Park Climb­ing Cen­ter. In the Plumas Nation­al For­est, you can enjoy Butte Coun­ty favorite Bald Rock Dome or Griz­zly Dome just across the coun­ty line. A cou­ple of hours away, you can explore Pigeon Cliff , The Mill , or the Leav­itt Train­ing Area for a few hours before return­ing to Butte Coun­ty for a night out on the town.