Bidwell Creek

Photo by Jaime Vega


Susanville Ranch Park offers amazing fall color along its many trails. An excellent view of the Diamond Mountains can be found by hiking up onto one of the many vista points found in the foothills of the Cascade Range, located right in the park. An early morning hike reveals a sunrise to the east over the Great Basin at the southern edge of the Modoc Plateau and the Honey Lake Valley, giving visibility to four distinct physiographic regions coming together, often referred to as ‘California’s geographic crossroads.’ Fall colors surround the trail with bright yellow willows, and whispering leaves of golden cottonwood. Black oak trees cover the hillsides surrounding open grass meadows on three sides. Dramatic autumn views and various levels of hikes come together in Susanville, just a short ride from Bizz Johnson Trailhead. Visit


Find yourself a sturdy backpack (here’s our top military rucksack list if you’re looking for one), fill it up with granola and water, and prepare for your trip. You start in Susanville or Westwood to hike or bike the entire 25.4 miles of the trail, which is well known for its fabulous fall color. You can hike a portion of the trail that carves its way through the Susan River Canyon; by starting at one of the trailheads. Be sure to check out the BLM map. The transforming cottonwoods turn the river bottoms golden yellow, while willows alongside the river turn various shades of red and golden yellow. Autumn oaks are dotted across the views with Rabbit Brush found on the drier portions of the trail that also turn bright yellow in the fall. the landscape surrounding the trail adds the glimmer of bright orange. Enjoy gorgeous colors and rugged scenery including volcanic cliffs, rocky rims and forests of fir and pine. For more information, call the BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office at
(530) 257-0456, or the Lassen National Forest, Eagle Lake Ranger District
at (530) 257-2151.

Bidwell Park

Nature loves to show off her best and brightest colors in the fall. Bidwell Park in Chico sports seventy miles of superb hiking trail options that provide a place for rich experiences and healthy exercise. Whether you want to meander on foot, ride your mountain bike or take a horseback ride, Bidwell Park has a trail for you.

Local photographer Jaime Vega loves to bike in the Upper Park area. He finds the steep terrain challenging, and enjoys the intriguing rock formations during his rides through the terrain, including the unique Chico Formation sandstone and Lovejoy Basalt rocks that keep him coming back time after time.

The Upper Trail offers stunning birdseye views of the best the valley has to offer. You will find this hiker’s jewel Northeast of Horseshoe Lake where it begins as an upper fork that detaches from the Middle Trail. The Middle Trail begins near the intersection of Wildwood Avenue and Upper Park Road at parking area A. Trek or pedal your way through the beauty and burn some calories among the Autumn colors. Take your time and watch for the wildlife, and don’t forget to soak it all in!