Bidwell Park BidwellPark_FifthandFlume_1280x642_1
Fifth and Flume/Flickr

Bidwell Park

Bidwell Park
Visit this surprising find in Chico

Be sure to bring your bathing suit when you visit this surprising find in Chico, an inviting college town in the northeastern part of the state. At an impressive 3,670 acres/1,485 hectares, Bidwell is one of the largest city parks in the United States. Much of Upper Bidwell (west of Manzanita Avenue) is hilly, rugged, and wild, while Lower Bidwell (east of Manzanita), tends to be flatter. Stop in for an overview of the park, and to learn about native plants and wildlife at the Chico Creek Nature Center.

Now that you’re oriented, rent some wheels at Campus Bicycles and head for the Annie Bidwell Trail, a moderate 4.7-mile/7.6-km loop in a quiet section of Upper Bidwell. Nearby is Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park — tour the 19th-century three-story, 26-room home of city founders John and Annie Bidwell. Post ride—if the weather is warm--take the leap into Sycamore Pool, the inviting swimming hole fed by Big Chico Creek.

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_Hero_barn_KG_1280x642_sized
Kodiak Greenwood

Discover Shasta Cascade

Bidwell Park vca_maps_shastacascade
74
September
Average (°F)
Sept - Nov
90°
High
41°
Low
Sept - Nov
90°
High
41°
Low
Mar - May
80°
High
43°
Low
June - Aug
98°
High
61°
Low

California’s northeast corner is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, with safe-to-explore volcanoes, hushed forests, and trout-filled rivers. This is the place for blue-ribbon fishing, houseboats anchored in cool lakes, countless campgrounds, and inviting trails for hiking and mountain biking.

"When I first caught sight of it I was weary and 50 miles away and afoot. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”  --Author John Muir, upon seeing Mount Shasta in 1874.

All this, plus friendly towns like Chico and Chester, and inviting rural farms in fertile lands near the Upper Sacramento River. Redding, the region’s largest city, makes a good base, with riverfront trails, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and elegant Sundial Bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Bidwell Park vcw_d_sc_t4-sundial_bridge_i-8p9wwv_r-l.jpg_kg-1_1
Kodiak Greenwood

Travel Alerts

Check out the latest California Wildfire & Travel Conditions
Is it safe for visitors to travel to California during wildfire season?

California is a large state and wildfires in one location...

Bidwell Park vc_otterbarlodge_supplied_flickr_oct815590375037_1280x640
Courtesy of Otter Bar Lodge

Otter Bar Lodge

Master whitewater kayaking at this immersive camp for paddlers of all levels

This off-the-grid wilderness lodge in California’s northwest corner is not your typical kayaking school. The family-owned ...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T1_35a5189_sized
Lassen Volcanic National Park is the only place on Earth where all four types of volcano can be seen.
Bidwell Park VC_WhiskeytownLake_RachidDahnoun_ShastaCascade_Lake-15_1280x640
Rachid Dahnoun

Whiskeytown Lake

Paddle, fish, or just relax atop Gold Rush history

Summer isn’t complete without a mountain-lake swim, so drive west from Redding and dip your toes in the warm, crystal-clear waters of...

Bidwell Park VC_CaliforniasEpicWaterfalls_Stock_RM_EBPEKT_1280x640
Picture Lake/Alamy

California’s Epic Waterfalls

Record precipitation means water is flowing better than ever—go see these waterfalls while they’re still at their peak

Winter 2017’s epic rain and snow may be old news, but its stormy consequences keep unfolding in wet-and-wild ways across...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Find whitewater rafting fun for all—from newbies to nerves-of-steel experts

Think of a river, and chances are you’ve got your own daydream. Maybe you want to float on inner tubes, or maybe your style is to careen through raucous rapids in an eight-person inflatable raft....

Bidwell Park VC_RiverRafting_Preview_Stock_RM_172652806_686x885
Groveb/Getty Images
Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T6_Mt Shasta_Kodiak__35a2159_1280x642
Kodiak Greenwood

Trip 4- 6 days 10 stops

Volcanoes to the Sea

Booming Waterfalls, Craft Breweries
Bidwell Park Sacramento_TowerBridge_DeltaKing_1280x642_0

Begin your trip in the center of the state, home to the capital city of Sacramento. Like many cities, California’s state capital is undergoing an energetic renaissance. Young adults looking for an urban vibe are moving into this low-...

Bidwell Park EurekaCarsonMansion.CourtesyRedwoods.info__1

After so much wildness for so much of your trip, Eureka is an inviting and lively switch. This once rough-and-tumble seaport town, the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, has split-personality charm: a sense...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T3_ShastaLake_Kids.jpg_KG-1280x642
Kodiak Greenwood

Shasta Lake

Rent a houseboat to explore the state’s largest reservoir

There’s plenty of room to move on this 30,000-acre/12,140-hectare reservoir, the largest in California. A typical summer day finds the crystal...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T2_BurneyFalls.jpg_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Burney Falls

Visit a booming cascade nicknamed the “eighth wonder of the world”

One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the state—if not the continent—this 129-foot-tall, fern-draped cascade seems to come out of nowhere....

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T3_ShastaLake_Kids.jpg_KG
Shasta Dam contains enough concrete to build a 3-foot sidewalk around the world at the equator.
Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T4-Sundial Bridge_i-8p9WWv_R-L.jpg_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Sundial Bridge

Stroll a futuristic bridge across the Sacramento River

A functional work of art, the remarkable bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T5_TehamaRanch_KG_1280x642_downsized
Kodiak Greenwood

Tehama Trail Farms & Ranches

Visit farms and farm stands along the Sacramento River

Established by local farmers, the Tehama Trail meanders through rural communities, linking together nearly two dozen vineyards, orchards, and...

Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T6_Mt Shasta_Kodiak__35a2159_1280x642
Kodiak Greenwood

Mount Shasta

Experience wildflower meadows, year-round snowfields, and a New-Age-y vibe

Soaring to 14,179 feet/4,322 meters high, this magnificent volcano scrapes the turquoise-blue sky, north of Redding, a totem from almost anywhere...

Bidwell Park VCW_SI_T4_SierraNevadaBrewing_1280x642
Courtesy of Sierra Brewing Company

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Pale ale put this trendsetting Chico producer on the map

What began as a cobbled-together home brewing operation grew up to become one of America’s first modern microbreweries, and the producer of...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T7_flyfish_hooks_Manley_sized
Harriot Manley/ Sunset Publishing

Fly Fishing

Cast a fly in blue-ribbon waters

Between the volcanic summits of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen flow some of California’s most celebrated fly fishing rivers. Blue-ribbon waters lace...

SPECIAL FEATURE
The Golden State lays claim to more than 850 breweries—here’s your guide to some of the most noteworthy

America’s modern craft brewing movement began in California in 1965. A young man named Fritz Maytag was enjoying a pint of Anchor Steam at a local restaurant when the bartender...

Bidwell Park VC_Breweries_Preview_FirestoneWalkerBrewing_Supplied_TR2Pours1_686x885
Courtesy of Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Bidwell Park FF_VCW_D_SC_T4-Sundial Bridge_i-8p9WWv_R-L.jpg_KG
Redding's Sundial Bridge is the largest sundial in the world.
Bidwell Park T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_1280x642
Peter Alfred Hess/FlickrPlay at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park

Play at Redding’s 300-acre museum, arboretum, sculpture park, and forest camp

Turtle Bay Exploration Park is exactly that—a mostly outdoor institution built alongside the shady Sacramento River, with creative...

Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T8-SIerra Nev Brew_copper tanks_i-dC9Cxd3-L.jpg_KG
Kodiak Greenwood

Shasta Cascade's Craft Breweries

Hoist a mug to the Californian brewers who redefined the art of ale

Northern California was the wellspring of the craft beer movement, which can be loosely traced from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco to Sierra...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Annual festivals liven up this quiet corner of California

The Shasta Cascade region is a year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts and local events celebrate its natural bounty, from crawdads to wild rice. An annual Tribute to the Trees at Dunsmuir...

Bidwell Park VCW_T10_hero-_LassenVNP_sized_0
Kodiak Greenwood
Bidwell Park redbluff_rodeo_funfact
The largest three-day rodeo in the U.S. is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff
Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T11_oroville_chinese_temple.jpg_city-of-oroville_downsized
Oroville Temple

Oroville

Find a Far East gem in this Gold Rush era town

Located on the banks of the Feather River where it flows out of the Sierra Nevada into the Central Valley flatlands, this Gold Rush town...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Kids get an inside look at wildlife, space, and more

From cool ways for your kids to learn about wildlife, to an insider’s look at a space station, to a chance to walk through a rain forest or learn about the night sky, there’s a bumper...

Bidwell Park T8_TurtleBay_PeterAlfredHess_preview_686x885
Peter Alfred Hess/Flickr
Bidwell Park LavaBedsNatlMonument_CyrilFluck_1280x642
Cyril Fluck/Flickr

Lava Beds National Monument

Descend into eerie and historic lava tube caves

A surreal landscape sculpted by molten earth, Lava Beds National Monument contains volcanic tablelands punctuated by cinder cones, pit craters,...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Lava, geysers & naturally heated hot springs

From the snow-capped heights of Mount Shasta in California’s far north to Amboy Crater in the Mojave Desert, signs of California’s volcanic past—and present—dot the landscape. Explore these...

Bidwell Park Lassen_SF_GrantMontgomery_preview_686x885
Grant Montgomery/Flickr
Bidwell Park VCW_D_SC_T1_35a5189
Lava Beds National Monument was a training ground for astronauts heading to the moon.