Bidwell Park

An aerial view of two women hiking a trail in Chico's Upper Bidwell Park
Hiking Bidwell Park (Photo Courtesy Explore Butte County)

Manzanita Avenue divides Bidwell Park, with the western area known as Lower Park and the eastern as Middle and Upper Park. Each of these pieces has their own unique personality. Upper Park’s more rugged terrain sits in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills, making for more rigorous hiking with some fantastic views. Lower Park is more accessible to a wide array of visitors, with paved, level pathways and a thick canopy of trees that provides welcome shade in the summertime.

About the Park

Bidwell Park was first established on July 20, 1905, and ever since, it has been a favorite outdoor location for locals to stretch their legs and explore the local environment.

Learn More at Explore Butte County

Explore Butte County has put together a vast library of information on both Lower and Upper Bidwell Park, popular swimming holes, and more. Check out their park page for more information.


Upper Bidwell Park Map

Lower Bidwell Park

Lower Park is flat and level with a thick canopy of trees which provide ample shade for the visitor.

Upper Bidwell Park Map

Upper Bidwell Park

Middle and Upper Park have steep terrain with many rock formations, including the unique Chico Formation sandstone and Lovejoy Basalt rocks.

Bidwell Park Amenities

Hiking in Bidwell Park is an incredible experience and a perfect way to spend a day. All trails in Bidwell Park are open to pedestrians. From the Yahi Trail in Upper Park, that follows Big Chico Creek, to the adventurous Guardian Trail, Bidwell Park offers hiking paths for both beginners and experienced hikers. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of drinking water, and to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. If you’re hiking in springtime, the wildflower blooms are not to be missed!

Bidwell Park is home to two disc golf courses, Sherwood Forest in Middle Park and Peregrine Point in Upper Park.

Horseback riding is a common pastime in Bidwell Park. Because trails are mostly multi-use, there are abundant riding opportunities for equestrians.

The basic equestrian rules are as follows:

  • No horses are allowed on Middle and Upper Park trails when closed due to wet conditions
  • No riding is allowed on Yahi Trail (a pedestrian-only trail)
  • Riders must keep horses 100 feet away from established picnic areas
  • Creek-crossing should be done only at established and signed horse crossings
More Info

Mountain biking is a favorite activity in Bidwell Park. There are miles upon miles of trails to ride on, and incredible scenery along the way.

Some of the basic mountain biking rules for Bidwell Park are as follows:

  • No riding is allowed on Yahi Trail (a pedestrian-only trail)
  • No bikes are allowed on Middle and Upper Park trails when closed due to wet conditions.
  • Helmets must be worn by people of all ages when riding unpaved trails in Middle and Upper Park

For mountain biking trail suggestions, check out the MTB Project

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time, bring plenty of drinking water and a tire patch kit.

More Info

Bidwell Park’s swimming opportunities are not to be missed. From Sycamore Pool to Upper Park’s wealth of unique and iconic swimming holes, Chico has you covered on ways to stay cool.

Swimming Holes