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  1. #1
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    Any good trails near chico?

    I'm considering moving from Santa Cruz to Chico.

    Is anybody familiar with riding in the area? If so, what are the best challenging singletrack rides within 90 minutes of town?

    So far i've found Guardians trail in upper Bidwell park. Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    NedwannaB
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    I thought a lot of Bidwell was challenging. Guess it depends on what you consider challenging. Some good riding in Redding. I’ve heard good things about Humbolt not sure if it will be in your 90 min range tho.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  3. #3
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    Upper Bidwell Park has quite a few trails right at the edge of town. Guardians is one of the best but unfortunately it was burned this year and the southern half of the park is closed for now. Even without that trail for the time being, you can still do a good challenging 10-15 mile loop on the north side. If you like rocks and chunk you will like Upper Bidwell. I think they're fun and challenging, but I'm a bit biased as I learned to ride here and only have to bike ~1.5 miles to the trailhead

    Other close trail areas:
    Oroville ~40 mins (not challenging)
    Redding ~ 90 mins
    Nevada City ~ 90 mins
    Auburn ~ 90 mins
    Quincy ~ 1:45 when 70 reopens
    Downieville ~ a bit under 2 hrs


    Other factors:
    It's HOT in the summer. But even in the peak of summer its only 70-80° for a sunrise ride with no humidity and clear skies and empty trails every morning

    Upper Bidwell park trails close when it rains, and the city is very cautious about waiting for them to dry after a storm before reopening

    Good bike culture in Chico. Lots of mountain bikers, loots of road bikers. 4 bike shops that are good with MTBs

    Housing situation is really crazy right now with a couple thousand Paradise evacuees settling in to Chico and competing for every rental and home for sale

  4. #4
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    Hope that helps! And if you want to come and scout out Upper Bidwell sometime, let me know and I can suggest some routes

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Hope that helps! And if you want to come and scout out Upper Bidwell sometime, let me know and I can suggest some routes

    Most helpful indeed. Also, you make a good point regarding the former Paradise residents relocating and putting pressure on the housing market. I'll have to factor this into my decision to relocate.

  6. #6
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    In my opinion moving from SC to Chico is a HUGE downgrade as far as biking is concerned.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    In my opinion moving from SC to Chico is a HUGE downgrade as far as biking is concerned.
    Agreed. Santa Cruz has better trails hands down. However, it is an affordability issue that is driving my decision to look elsewhere including Chico.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORCAL1979 View Post
    Agreed. Santa Cruz has better trails hands down. However, it is an affordability issue that is driving my decision to look elsewhere including Chico.
    Yeah, probably not the best bet these days.
    What's wrong with him??

  9. #9
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Hope that helps! And if you want to come and scout out Upper Bidwell sometime, let me know and I can suggest some routes
    @Boomn- Since you’re a local up there, I didn’t mention in my earlier post but, what are your thoughts of the Susanville area? I wouldn’t necessarily call it challenging(as I was only there for 3 days of riding)but there’s “The Ranch” trail system up in their foothills and also the “SouthSide” singletrack trail plus the “Biz Johnson” decommissioned railway gravel route along the Susan River that’s within the 90 min time frame of Chico aswell. I went up and rode there and raced the “High on the Ranch” venue the year before last it was a great experience plus there’s a big(well way bigger than I imagined)cycling community within the town and surrounding community!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  10. #10
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    In my opinion moving from SC to Chico is a HUGE downgrade as far as biking is concerned.
    Dude. Why you gotta rain on his parade without some love thrown in at least!?! If personal economics are the driving force he may be trying to get some sort of balance in the move. I know I would be...
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  11. #11
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    Quincy (Mt. Hough and South Park trails) is about 90 minutes away. And you're hours closer to Tahoe, Shasta, Ashland/Oregon, etc. which isn't a bad thing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Dude. Why you gotta rain on his parade without some love thrown in at least!?! If personal economics are the driving force he may be trying to get some sort of balance in the move. I know I would be...
    He didn’t mention that in his original post. I had no idea what his situation was, so I was offering my opinion having ridden in both areas.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    @Boomn- Since you’re a local up there, I didn’t mention in my earlier post but, what are your thoughts of the Susanville area? I wouldn’t necessarily call it challenging(as I was only there for 3 days of riding)but there’s “The Ranch” trail system up in their foothills and also the “SouthSide” singletrack trail plus the “Biz Johnson” decommissioned railway gravel route along the Susan River that’s within the 90 min time frame of Chico aswell. I went up and rode there and raced the “High on the Ranch” venue the year before last it was a great experience plus there’s a big(well way bigger than I imagined)cycling community within the town and surrounding community!
    Sorry, I haven't been to Susanville yet. South Side looks interesting, enough to put it on the list. But Bizz Johnson was never enough to draw me out there

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    @Boomn- Since you’re a local up there, I didn’t mention in my earlier post but, what are your thoughts of the Susanville area? I wouldn’t necessarily call it challenging(as I was only there for 3 days of riding)but there’s “The Ranch” trail system up in their foothills and also the “SouthSide” singletrack trail plus the “Biz Johnson” decommissioned railway gravel route along the Susan River that’s within the 90 min time frame of Chico aswell. I went up and rode there and raced the “High on the Ranch” venue the year before last it was a great experience plus there’s a big(well way bigger than I imagined)cycling community within the town and surrounding community!
    Plus lots of forest hiking trails that are ridable -- Upper Deer Creek, Spencer Meadows, Trail Lake Trail, Heart Lake, Mill Creek, et al. If you don't mind riding unsurfaced forest roads behind closed gates there are an infinite number of loops you can put together.
    So many trails... so little time...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Sorry, I haven't been to Susanville yet. South Side looks interesting, enough to put it on the list. But Bizz Johnson was never enough to draw me out there
    When I asked about Susanville - I was told it's just sort of a depressing prison town (there is a prison nearby). Never been though.

  16. #16
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    I don't know how it is to live there but we had a great long weekend. It's pretty and has fun trails and a cool little downtown including a good brewpub.

  17. #17
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    When I asked about Susanville - I was told it's just sort of a depressing prison town (there is a prison nearby). Never been though.
    OP is moving to Chico, not Susanville. Topic is of riding locals.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  18. #18
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Sorry, I haven't been to Susanville yet. South Side looks interesting, enough to put it on the list. But Bizz Johnson was never enough to draw me out there
    Yeah SS is 15 mile out n back xc to the Biz with some sketch sections thrown in. If you like an epic type outing, you go out SS, do the river crossing and up to the Biz and get your endurance fix in out to Westwood then double back dropping down to the river and rip the 7 miles of the SS back to you vehicle. It will be ~50 miles.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  19. #19
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    Chico has some fun trails, but not a whole lot as they are confined to upper bidwell park. Very rocky terrain. I venture there about once a year and every time I do I've had my fill for the year. Unfortunately from what I understand most of their stuff is shut down because of the fire. I believe there was a plan set in action for a trail system up towards Paradise, so I don't know if the fire will hinder or help that plan. Land managers act differently after such events.

    As pointed out, in the summer and autumn Months you have Mouth Hough, and Downieville, both about 90 minutes away!

    In the winter, Just over an hour north is Redding's vast trail system which is enough to keep you busy for a long time.

    Susanville is worth a trip. Spring or Autumn after a rain would be good. The stuff built at the "Ranch" is built pretty bike specific, i.e. berms and some features.
    Redding Trail Alliance - www.reddingtrailalliance.org

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