Guardians Trail Via South Rim Trail Loop

HARD 21 reviews
#5 of 14 trails in

Guardians Trail Via South Rim Trail Loop is a 8.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Chico, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,213 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly


mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching




wild flowers




washed out

Guardians Trail is definitively the best all trail in Bidwell Park. It is for intermediate to advanced technical and downhill riders, but really does contain a little bit for everyone. There are great views, smooth singletrack, rocky technical and downright dangerous sections. A must ride! Whether you're doing a downhill shuttle run or an out and back loop, this trail does not disappoint. This trail hugs the southern ridge in the Chico Creek canyon. There are numerous technical sections throughout the ride, some of which have dangerous cliffs and drops if you don't stay on the trail. So don't plan to ride the entire trail unless you have some experience riding, and come prepared to walk many sections. The climb uphill is moderate to strenuous, but none of the steep sections last for longer than 100 yards. The climb up can be completed in less than one hour if you're in decent shape, and the downhill in 30-60 minutes. For reference, Mark Weir made it down in just under 19 minutes. There are lots of rocks, some small jumps and drops, so a full suspension bike is recommended. From the bottom there is an initial technical rocky section of about 1.5 miles. You will come to a post above the golf course where the trail forks. The left/downhill side goes to the Annie Bidwell trail. The right/uphill side goes to Guardians Trail. After this point, the climb becomes much smoother and less technical for the next 2 miles. When you notice large cliffs looming over the trail to your right, the trail becomes quite a bit more technical. As you move past the cliffs the trail will smooth out for the remainder of the climb. The trail ends when you hit the doubletrack fire road (Ten Mile House Road).

mountain biking
1 month ago

only ran half of guardian via 32 but overall awesome trail. Challenging and very diverse. Recommend 100%.

4 months ago

This is a great trail! Not too difficult, not too long, some in shade, some without. The elevation is up and down constantly so my thighs and ankles were sore after the 4 hour loop, but it's a great workout. There are some great views and some nice off-trail spots to enjoy the creek or some mountain views.

Saturday, August 25, 2018


mountain biking
Friday, June 01, 2018

Great ride with many difficult passages. I admit to walking the sections with dangerous dropoffs. I also admit to praying for the end of the trail to appear much sooner than it did! Bring lots of water.Be safe.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The views are great! I went in October and it was pretty dry. About 2 miles in I realized the rocks had cut my dog’s paw. We had to limp back up the rocky terrain. I would recommend no dogs or have booties for them. Great exercise for me though.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bird's eye view of upper park is amazing! Great hike but beware of the mountain bikers - lots of blind corners.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's a great long ride with amazing views . Can be narrow and technical requires low speed stability skills.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This ride is for the expert. The trail starts out fairly easy but quickly becomes expert. It's single track with rocky terrain and cliffs. It was more of a trail than I bargained for with my level of riding.

29 days ago

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Saturday, June 02, 2018

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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