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The Orion

Quick 30 minute hikes for busy students

View of Bidwell Park and golf course from the trail by Big Chico creek Photo credit: Matthew Ferreira

In the midst of our busy lives filled with work and school, sometimes it can be hard to make time for yourself to get out and enjoy Chico’s beautiful parks and nature.

Getting outside and taking advantage of what Chico has to offer doesn’t have to be time consuming. Below are a few short hikes that can refresh and reenergize you without taking a huge chunk of time out of your day.

One great spot to go to when on a time crunch is at Upper Bidwell Park, by Horseshoe Lake.

It is easily accessible, offers free parking and has a few trails and destinations to hike to.

One of these spots is a Chico favorite called “Monkey Face.”

The hike is a little over a mile long and features a rock formation that looks a lot like a monkey’s face. The trail has a moderate incline and offers some breathtaking views of Chico and Bidwell Park.

There is another shorter trail located near the parking lot that leads to a cave that provides both a sitting area and shade for hotter days.

This trail is a short 15 minute hike but is a great option for those looking to get outdoors and enjoy a little bit of nature between classes or after a long day.

For those looking for more of a flat walking trail than a hike, there is a great spot by the Sacramento River off of West Sacramento Avenue and River Road called the “Indian Fishery Nature Trail.”

The trail is only 15 minutes from Downtown Chico and begins right from the parking lot.


The path runs parallel to the water, giving walkers a waterfront view throughout their hike.

This area is accessible by bike and has a few spots located along the path to sit down, relax, take pictures and fish.

The loop only takes about 10 minutes to complete and is a great spot to go if you want to get away from downtown for a little bit.

Another trail that leads to a great view of Bidwell Park and the golf course is located off of Chico Canyon Road and Centennial Avenue.

The walk begins along Big Chico Creek, parallel to the golf course. As the path continues it leads you into a more vegetative area with lots of overhead trees.

The trail gets to be a little steep and requires some light climbing, but after about 20 minutes of moderate incline you are presented with a beautiful view of Upper Bidwell Park and Bidwell Golf Course.

While Chico has many trails and hiking spots to offer, these are a few good ones to get started with that don’t require a ton of time and energy to complete.

Matthew Ferreira can be reached at [email protected] or @MattFerreira__ on Twitter.

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