Hiking in Upper Bidwell Park can feel remote. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The problem with going down first is that the end of the hike will be uphill.

Even knowing this ahead of time didn’t stop me from being a bit whiny as I trudged up the hill. Good thing no one was around me—I was that slow on this particular day. Some days are like that, where it’s like you are not firing on all cylinders.

It didn’t matter, I loved that I was seeing areas of Chico’s Upper Bidwell Park I had not been to. We started on the Guardian Trail, which had us going downhill quickly. Considering the highest point of the whole route was our beginning and ending points, downhill had to be the first thing we would do.

Big Chico Creek flows through Upper Bidwell Park. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Then we got on to Bloody Pin; never a good name for a trail.

The weekend before this hike in October the Bidwell Bump Mountain Bike Race took place. I was looking at the steeps, the narrowness, the turns and just hoping I didn’t slip in my hiking boots. No way would I ride there—even with body armor, aka fully padded protective gear and helmet.

While the grasses were brown this time of year, the scenery was still spectacular. For a hike that is not far out of town, it is amazing how remote it felt.

At times the vastness could be seen for miles. Other times the trail was narrow and the foliage dense.

A short section of the trail is wooded and feels enclosed. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Our leader, Kristin, pointed out where a waterfall flows during the winter and spring if there has been enough rain. On this particular day we had to use our imagination for what it would look like.

We wrapped up the day by going across Legacy Trail before heading up Ten Mile to Green Gate, which was our starting point.

Green Gate, which is also known as Ten Mile House Road, off of Highway 32 is where we started. The “we” was the Chico Orville Outdoor Adventurers. We finished the morning hiking 5.21 miles, with an elevation gain of 893 feet. The lowest point was 690 feet and highest was 1,533 feet.

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