Monkey Face makes great spring break hike


Monkey Face in Upper Bidwell Park is an unusual rock formation that has a trail leading to the top that many people hike. Photo credit: Ruby Larson

Staying in Chico over spring break and wanting to get out, explore and adventure? Thankfully Chico has a multitude of hiking trails throughout Upper and Lower Bidwell Park just waiting for visitors.

Whether you’re trying to find something to do with a group of friends or wanting something more exclusive with your significant other, Chico has plenty of options.

One of the most common places to hike is an easy 15-minute path to the top of Monkey Face. Monkey Face has secluded spots to watch sunrise or sunset, put a hammock between two trees and relax or, for the adventurous type, there are plenty of plenty of rocks to climb around as well.

The top of Monkey Face gives a view of Horseshoe Lake and the sunset. Photo credit: Courtney Chapman

Monkey Face gets its name due to the peculiar shape of the rock formation at the peak of the hill. From afar, it looks to have two eyes over a bridged brow, similar to a monkey’s.

“I would say Monkey Face is definitely one of the easier hikes around, but it will still get your blood pumping,” said Nicole Cartan, Chico State student. “It’s one of my favorite places to go.”

Though the most common place to hike is the very top, it is possible to get to the “eyes” of the monkey. These are essentially just two decent sized clefts in the rock at the top of the hill.

Monkey Face is located in Upper Bidwell Park, just past the Bidwell Park Golf Course. There is a small parking lot near where the hike begins, but it is often full. Don’t worry if it is, there are other lots slightly further away, just be prepared to walk a little.

A few recommendations on things to bring on your hike:

  • A good pair of shoes (the most direct path is somewhat rugged and can be slippery)
  • Water bottle
  • Camera for the view at the top

Who needs Cabo? There are many places to explore in Chico for free and in our own backyard.

Courtney Chapman can be reached at [email protected] or @courtneychaps on Twitter.