Butte County: Outdoor wonders and downtown fun

By: DogTrekker Staff
A brown dog in front of Lake Oroville in Butte County. - Dogtrekker
Dogs are welcome at Lake Oroville. Photo by Ashley Baer.

Butte County promises college-town culture and coolness, along with outstanding hikes, beautiful botanical gardens, and sun-splashed patios that serve local beers beside produce picked fresh on area farms. Travelers visiting this southern stretch of the Shasta Cascade region often base themselves in Chico, an artsy community with a walkable downtown and one of the country’s largest municipal parks. For more Butte County fun, explore Oroville’s Gold Rush history or plan some outdoor adventures in Paradise.

Mild weather and parks with both on- and off-leash activities make Butte County a favorite in spring (and throughout the year!). Look for seasonal wildflowers at North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve, where ancient lava flows formed rugged trails and dramatic waterfalls. Wildflowers bloom a bit later (beginning in June, typically) along the Jonesville Canyon trail near Paradise. For houseboating, fishing and water fun, plan some time at Lake Oroville.

In Chico, check out DeGarmo Dog Park or sprawling Bidwell Park. Dogs love this wonderland, and they especially enjoy splashing in Big Chico Creek near One Mile Recreation Area. The creek also winds along trails in the Chico State Campus Arboretum (pups must be leashed here), which is home to 200 species of trees and plants. Back in downtown Chico, swing by Burgers & Brew, Farmers Brewing or Parkside Tap House for dog-friendly patio dining.

Travelers overnighting in Chico can choose from the DoubleTree, Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Oxford Suites and Best Western, which all roll out the red carpet for dogs. The Best Western in Paradise is another good option, as are the campgrounds in Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. Four-legged family members are welcome on paved roadways in this sprawling outdoor playground.


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