North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

North Table Mountain ER landscape
North Table Mountain ER close-up of flowers


Created by ancient lava (basalt) flows, the approximately 3,300 acre North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is an elevated basalt mesa with beautiful vistas of spring wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools. Typically fissures in the basalt soak up winter rains, forming seasonal streams and waterfalls. In a few places, however, the underlying basalt is impermeable to water forming a temporary pool. Soon to dry up after rains end, only specialized plants and animals adapted to this habitat can survive over time.

Despite the impacts of non-native invasive plant species, range management practices, such as cattle grazing, have contributed to maintaining spectacular wildflower blooms that draw many visitors from near and far to the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Deer Hunting Quail Hunting Turkey Hunting

Hours: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is open year round dawn to dusk.

Activities: Hiking, wildlife and wildflower viewing, and hunting

Sturdy close-toe footwear and water bottles are advised when visiting the site. Please note that trails are not maintained by CDFW and may cross onto private property. Water and trash receptacles are not available on site. Removing, collecting or disturbing any natural resources (mineral, plant, animal) is prohibited. Dogs must be on a leash. Cattle grazing on the reserve is used as a management tool to reduce thatch and non-native grass species to benefit native plants. Do not approach the cattle closer than 300 feet.


Hunting: Deer, quail and turkey may be present


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.

no drones icon
You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

Livestock grazing has been the major historical land use of the reserve, though beginning in 1848 there was extensive mining activity immediately to the north, east, and south sides of the mountain.

The property was acquired by the Department in 1993 to preserve the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools habitat type and sensitive species. Funds for this acquisition were provided by Proposition 70, a 1988 voter-approved initiative that designated funds specifically for the acquisition of Significant Natural Areas as identified by the Department. Additional land was acquired in 1997 to enable direct public access from the gravel parking lot on Cherokee Road. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 2003.

North Table Mountain ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Butte County

Approximately 7 miles north of Oroville

Directions: From Hwy 70 in Oroville. Exit at Grand Ave (Exit 48). Go East (right) on Grand Ave for 1 mile. Left on Table Mountain Blvd for a tenth of a mile. Right on Cherokee Road 6.3 miles north to the reserve. Official access is through a small parking lot on the west side of Cherokee Road.

CDFW Lands Viewer