This loop combines the most popular trails on both sides of the park, B Trail
and Guardian Trail
. You'll find great views of the valley and the park itself for this hike's duration.
There is a wet crossing of Big Chico Creek to pass from the northern to the southern side of the park. This is typically impassable during high flows in the winter. The climb up North Rim Trail
gets a lot of sun and can be very hot on warm days. Additionally, this route can be shortened by returning after B Trail
via Middle Trail
or the park road.
This journey begins with a rocky, gradual climb up the North Rim Trail
. There are some short downhill sections towards the top of North Rim, but nothing too steep. Turn onto B Trail
at the sign and get ready for beautiful singletrack beginning with rocky areas along the rim of the canyon and changing to banked turns as you descend into a riparian woodland along Big Chico Creek. Take a left onto the park road and follow it to the end. Continue along a short section of singletrack leading to a wet creek crossing.
After cooling off from the creek crossing, try your best to conquer the steep, rocky climb up to 10 Mile House Trail
. Make a right turn onto 10 Mile House Trail
and prepare yourself. You'll climb back up to the rim of the southern side where Guardian Trail
begins. Guardian starts as smooth singletrack, gradually becoming rockier and more rugged the further you descend. This trail is situated along the bluffs of volcanic cliffs - enjoy the view!
There are several drainages that require judicious negotiation to avoid tripping on, or onto unforgiving lava rock. Towards the lower section, Guardian Trail
merges into the South Rim Trail. The trail ends at Centennial Avenue where you'll veer to the right onto the road and continue approximately a quarter mile back to Five Mile recreation area.
Bidwell Park is defined by Big Chico Creek, beginning as a narrow strip of greenery in the heart of Downtown Chico and gradually widening as one travels upstream through lower and middle park. This route travels along the northern and then the southern boundaries of upper park.