Butte Creek Canyon Ecological Reserve


Butte Creek Canyon Ecological Reserve is a 287 acre property and consists of two units, the Virgin Valley and Canyon Units, located along Butte Creek. The Virgin Valley Unit lies in an alluvial apron just downstream from the Butte Creek canyon, and the Canyon Unit lies within the canyon itself. The reserve supports various riparian community types, including Great Valley Oak and Great Valley Cottonwood Riparian Forests. Wildlife species that can be seen at the reserve include wintering bald eagles, western pond turtle, red-legged frog, deer, coyote, bobcat, beaver, ash-throated flycatcher, yellow warbler, and western bluebird.

For more information, call the North Central Region Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900.

Recreational Opportunities

 Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing fishing  Boat Ramp

Activities: Hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing. Fishing by boat or other flotation device (seasonal).

Facilities: None

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

The Maidu tribe is known to have occupied the immediate area for a long period. From about 1850 until a few years prior to State acquisition, the dominant land use was mining. Gold and aggregate mining altered the canyon floor.

The property was purchased to protect the anadromous fishery and riparian habitat from land use change encroachments. Secondary goals include habitat enhancement and public use opportunities such as nature viewing, nature education, and fishing access. It was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1988.

Map of Butte Creek Canyon ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Butte County

northeast of Highway 99, just southeast of Chico

Access: From Highway 99 south of Chico, take Skyway Road east. Turn left on Honey Run Road for about 1 mile. The reserve is on the right side of the road.

CDFW Lands Viewer