hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful trail! I think the other park trails would be too hot in the summer heat but since the Yahi trail is right by the Big Chico Creek you have plenty of opportunities to cool off. The water pretty brisk but pristine and clear. Since it was a Monday and school is in I felt like I had the park to myself. I ran into 3 people the whole way.

The creek is gorgeous. The Yahi trail takes you up the Iron Canyon and gives you sweeping by the time you get to Devils Canyon. I parked at the end of the road started on the "Lower Trail" then cut down to the Yahi trail because I wanted to be near the water. I felt like I made the best choice. By the end it was around sunset so I thought I'd take the Upper trail back for the views but unfortunately didn't have a map and didn't want to risk taking a wrong path so close to sunset so I ended up on the Middle Trail on the way back and was not disappointed. It was spectacular. Amber waves of grain, gorgeously lit by the setting sun, the temperature was cool enough for me to keep up a jogging pace and not overheat. And the rattle snakes were kind enough to give me a short courtesy rattle to let me know they were there as I passed by, lol. It only happened once but I actually almost stepped on a sun bathing baby rattler years ago when I lived in Chico. They are around so it's good to stick to the trails and stay out of the tall grass.

Ultimately, I would recommend hiking the Yahi trail up and take the Upper trail back. I'll have to do that next time. The Yahi Trail is marked the easiest which that alone made me want to do the upper trail marked most difficult. But much more to enjoy along the Yahi trail and decent shade as well. The upper trial is almost entirely exposed so avoid the mid day sun. I went through more than a liter of water even though I was on the Yahi trail. I'd double that for that upper Upper, Mid, or lower trails in the sun no matter what time of day it is.

Awesome day hike you'll be glad you did. Don't miss it.