Bidwell Park (Upper) - Chico Canyon Trailhead to Horseshoe Lake

Chico, CA
Length: 1.50 mi.
Type: Point-to-point

About This Trail

[Total: 2    Average: 2.5/5]

This Upper Bidwell Park trail is actually a combination of 3 different trails. You will explore some of the Annie Bidwell Trail, Yahi Trail, and Lower Trail as you hike through Upper Park. This is a great family friendly path. If you start at Chico Canyon Trailhead, there is a small parking lot near the trailhead sign.

The trail is wide, and has a small rock/cement wall in most places, where there are higher drop off points. It is shaded most of the way, there are logs to climb on, a creek to watch and throw rocks into (or swim in if the weather is nice), and lots of wildlife to spot. There is even a golf course along the trail, so be ready to see some golfers and golf carts. There is a bridge to cross, near the golf course. The bridge is wide for the golf carts to cross, but the siding was not designed with young children in mind. Please use cation when crossing. If you and your little hikers can handle a very short uphill rocky climb (less than 10 feet), you can continue onto Lower Trail and make your way East (to the left) to Parking Lot E and Horseshoe Lake. If you would rather avoid the small climb, you can take a left at the wide and well hiked road (there may be cars) to Parking Lot E and Horseshoe Lake.


The trail is well trafficked by bikes, hikers, runners, and in one very short location, golf carts. At the end of the trail, you can sit and enjoy a snack or rest near Horseshoe lake, although there is virtually no shade and no swimming allowed. In the spring it is beautiful with wildflowers. There are bathrooms located near Horseshoe Lake as well. Then turn around and head right on back the way you came.


Because this a path including several trails, here is a breakdown of the general route that is toddler friendly.

  • Begin at the Chico Canyon Trailhead.
  • When the trail forks, take the left and continue toward the golf course. There is smaller shaded dirt trail path you can take or a larger walking path closer to the golf course.
  • You will come to a bridge, cross it. Keep an eye out for golf carts.
  • Once across the bridge, you will be on the golf course. Do not fear, go to the right and you will see a trail post for Yahi Trail. This is the trail you want to take.
  • Take this trail all the way to the end. It will end at a road. Take the road to the left and follow it until you see a parking lot on the right. The road can be busy, but it is a dirt road and cars drive slow.
  • The parking lot is often busy, so make sure to watch out for cars. Horseshoe Lake is located just East of the parking lot.
  • To get back, just turn around and go back the way you came.
Share This Trail

Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Lake, Natural Play Area, and Wildlife Viewing

Big Chico Creek runs next to much of the trail and Horseshoe Lake is the ending point of this trail. Horseshoe lake is a no swimming lake and is really more of a pond, but it is a beautiful spot for a snack or to rest. It is also a great open space for kids to explore and stretch their legs if riding in a carrier.

Trail Contributor

[Total: 2    Average: 2.5/5]

I am a mama of two boys. I love drinking tea and am a better mom when we are outside exploring nature (and when I have tea). I have a family bike and love it. I enjoy baking, cooking, and eating my creations. I love the idea of yoga, but never seem to be consistent in finding time to practice. I love reading, but again rarely find the time. My family just ventured into urban farming. I love sour beers and delicious food. I work for a local non-profit as a training coordinator, and volunteer as a Branch Ambassador for our local HiB community and for the HiB Localized Support National volunteer team.

Trail Head


Trail Map