North Table Mountain
Oroville, Butte County, California
After several years of trying, I was finally able to see the wildflowers that grow in the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville, Ca. in Butte County. It was well worth the try! I went with my daughter and her family. They live in the area and I will always want to spend time with them. Besides they were familiar with the area, so I had built-in hiking guides. The wildflowers were plentiful, the result of months of some crazy, drought-busting, rainy weather in California this year.
We went early in the morning in order to beat the crowds. This Reserve is definitely a tourist attraction and parking can be a bit challenging. Besides the mostly native wild flowers, the hiking can be easy enough for children, leashed dogs and people like me who are just now getting back into fitness after 25 plus years. Not really good hiking for those with mobility issues and strollers need to be left in the car. There are more advanced options for the serious hikers. We saw some people sporting serious hikers gears and full packs. Either way, I suggest you bring at least a bottle of water and weather appropriate gear. Cell phone reception is spotty.
The hiking is broken up by ancient lava falls throughout the Reserve. These lava flows are home to different lichens, mosses and flowers. The hiking paths are really cow paths as the Reserve goes across some private land. There are cows there and it is a firm No No to harass, chase or otherwise annoy the cows. It is also dumb. Those animals can weight up to 2000 pounds. As for wildlife, we saw birds, but there is a possibility of bear and mountain lion.
We hiked to Hollow Falls, the smaller of several water falls. Due to my physical inability we were not able to go to the larger falls. That will hopefully be a next year thing for me. Hallow falls drops 69 feet and because of the wet weather was really roaring, fed by a stream that accompanied us throughout our hike. Being there so early in the morning, it was still quiet enough to just enjoy the sounds of the earth. I highly recommend it.
For more info on permits and guidelines visit https://wildlife.ca.gov/Lands/Places-to-Visit/North-Table-Mountain-ER