Hidden gems to visit when the weather is right


One of the metal walk ways at the “flumes” in Paradise. Photo credit: Michael Arias

Michael Arias

It’s that time of the year. Break out those bathing suits, sun screen and hiking boots, because there is nothing like being in the good ol’ outdoors when the weather is nice in Northern California.

With Chico’s favorite summer hangouts like Upper Bidwell Park and One Mile sure to get crowded quickly, it’s nice to have other options to spend those sunny days.

  • “Flumes,” Paradise

Get off the grid and into the pine trees and ferns on a hike to one of Northern California’s most beautiful natural swimming spots. Named after the flumes that used to carry lumber along the Feather River, this hike has multiple pools that will satisfy any cliff-jumper or nature-lover. The hike is about 20 to 30 minutes to get to the bigger pools, but paths along the way lead to the other swimming holes on the river.




  • “Trestles,” Chico

Swim with the fish along Butte Creek’s “trestles” for a place to relax with friends. Located just on the side of CA-99, the walk to get there is no longer than 10 minutes. Because of its accessibility, a small crowd can sometimes be expected. There is a rope swing and a decent-sized spray-painted pillar to jump off of. There is also a salmon ladder that brings fish into the crystal clear waters. However, fishing is not allowed and strictly enforced.



  • Peregrine Point Disc Golf Course, Chico

Bring your A-game to Peregrine Point for 18 baskets of disc golf and phenomenal views. The course is long and right on the cliffside so it is recommended to bring more than one disc. It can also be a popular area to hike with several trails available – just watch out for flying objects. It is an overall good place if you’re looking for a great view.



  • “Washout” Sacramento River, Chico

A perfect place to spend the day, “the washout” caters to your outdoor needs. The area is large so finding a sandy spot to set up shouldn’t be a problem. Also, don’t forget to bring a fishing pole. The Sacramento River – California’s largest river – is home to all sorts of fish including: salmon, trout, sturgeon, striped bass and catfish. The river’s cool waters are refreshing to take a dip in, but the current is strong. The wildlife on the river is plentiful so keep an eye out – you might even see a river otter.



Michael Arias can be reached at [email protected] or @mikey_arias on Twitter.