Explore Upper Bidwell Park with a day trip on the Yahi Trail


Victor Guerrero along with his dog hiking the Yahi Trail. Photo credit: Katalina Santamaria

Located in Upper Bidwell Park, roughly 10 minutes outside of Downtown Chico, the Yahi Trail is a simple, yet exciting hike that leads to Chico’s beloved Bear Hole.

There are various ways to get to Bear Hole, such as simply driving on the road from Monkey Face, but the Yahi Trail leads for an adventurous outing and has various off- path directions you can take to take in Chico’s Bidwell Park.

Heading down Manzanita Avenue towards Bidwell Park the road will take you straight through the heart of Bidwell and lead you into Upper Bidwell. Follow the road past the Bidwell golf course toward Monkey Face.

Once you get to the parking lot that leads to Monkey Face you can park there and continue down the road to the left where there is a gate that is usually blocked off for vehicles. Once you walk down that road for about three to five minutes you will come across stairs that lead to the Yahi Trail located on the right-hand side.

As you walk past the Yahi Trail sign on a dirt path, you will reach Bear Hole. The hike itself takes about 45 minutes to an hour depending on how many breaks you take.

The Yahi Trail leads you through some beautiful scenery, taking you down to the creek with the luminous trees surrounding you.

Yahi Trail
Towards the beginning of the trail you can see a clear opening leading you to the creek Photo credit: Katalina Santamaria

The trail is surrounded by trees as well as the sound of the water flowing through the creek on your right-hand side. As mentioned before, alongside the trail you are able to venture off down to the creek or walk through various little paths that lead you off the trail.

At the end of the trail you come across huge rock boulders and the clear creek water which lets you know you have reached Bear Hole.

Some important things to remember:

  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, such as tennis shoes, for the long hike
  • Bring plenty of water
  • Bring a bathing suit or towel to take a dip into Bear Hole
  • Sunglasses wouldn’t hurt during the hot Chico summer days
  • Make sure to bring sunscreen
  • Don’t hesitate to bring your dog







Check back next week to find another outdoor adventure in Chico.

Katalina Santamaria can be reached at [email protected] or @katalinaleanet on Twitter.