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Spend a Day Exploring Chico’s Bidwell Park

Enjoy the Outdoors at Bidwell Park

The Air Quality Index (AQI) numbers in Chico and surrounding areas have been going up and down recently due to the Dixie Fire and other nearby wildfires, but we are still getting days at a time with good to moderate AQI. With indoor masking back in many places, you may be wanting to get outside and explore. One of the most popular places to spend the day is Bidwell Park. 

Explore the Park Safely

Bidwell Park on Old Chico Canyon Road is approximately 2500 acres and more than 11 miles long. The area includes several popular hiking trails. If you are ready to make the trek this weekend, bring plenty of water and sun protection, it’s going to be a hot one. 

Some hazards to be on the lookout for are:

  • Fallen Trees
  • Ticks
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Poison oak
  • Steep drop-offs
  • Swift waters

While we are on the “not-so-fun” topic, here are a few things that are prohibited at Bidwell Park:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking/vaping
  • Glass
  • Fires and BBQing outside of designated areas
  • Camping
  • Removal of vegetation, rocks, artifacts, or wildlife
  • Excessive noise

Know Your Trail Etiquette

The ethos of the trail is always to leave no trace. Pack in, and pack out. Take only your memories. There are many ways to say it, but essentially – pick up your trash and keep the trails pristine for all to enjoy. Hikers are advised to stay on the designated trails not only for safety reasons but also to prevent damage to natural resources. All trails in Upper Bidwell are mixed-use – meaning hikers may encounter bicycles and horses. The sole pedestrian-only trail in Upper Bidwell is the Yahi Trail. Equestrians on the trails always have the primary right-of-way. Bicyclists must also yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

Rules for Dogs in Bidwell Park

Your canine friends are welcome at the park under the following guidelines:

  • Lower Bidwell: Dogs are allowed off-leash from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. They must remain under control and respond to voice commands. During all other hours, dogs must be on a leash.
  • Upper Bidwell: Dogs are allowed off-leash to the north of Upper Park Road. They must remain under control and respond to voice commands. In all areas on and south of Upper Park Road, dogs must be leashed.
  • Dogs are not allowed in the area around Sycamore Pool and are not allowed in any of the other named swimming holes.
  • Please ensure that your dog does not harass or harm wildlife or people.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below showcases the swimming holes around the park.

Now Go and Enjoy Bidwell Park!

Now that you have read the rules and regulations, why not plan a day at Bidwell Park? It is one of the largest municipal parks in the country and is considered the City of Chico’s crown jewel. It offers not only an assortment of hiking and mountain biking trails, but a number of swimming holes, and plenty of picnic areas.

More Information on Bidwell Park

The Parks Department for the City of Chico can be reached at (530) 896-7800. There is also a hotline for trail and road conditions: (530) 896-7899.

Chico Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello, and thanks for visiting our legal blog. I’m Ed Smith, a Chico personal injury lawyer.  I have been an advocate for injured Chico residents for more than 38 years. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by the negligence of another motorist, call us – we can help. To set up a no-obligation consultation or simply to receive free and friendly advice, dial (530) 392-9400. From outside the local area code, please use the toll-free line that we offer: (800) 404-5400.


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