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North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve - Butte County
Location: Butte County - Approximately 7 miles north of Oroville.
Hours: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is open year round dawn to dusk.
Map: Directional Map (PDF)
Description: Created by ancient lava (basalt) flows, 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.
The land was acquired by the State of California in 1993 to preserve and protect this habitat, and 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.
- Please do not approach the cattle closer than 300 feet.
- Sturdy closed-toe footwear and water bottles are advised when visiting the area.
- Please review the special restrictions below.
Outdoor California Article: "North Table Mountain: All of the Beauty, Majesty and Wonder of California" (PDF) or Text Only by Eva Begley © 2000
Tours: Guided public tours of the site are offered March through April at 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tour leaders will provide information about the area's geology, vernal pools, waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife. Tours are limited to 25 participants. Dogs are not allowed on the tours. Please read the tour description below before you register.
Wildflower Tour/ Hike Description: The hike will last approximately two hours for distance of 2 to 2.5 miles; and will involve hiking without established trails, over uneven and rocky terrain, and through several ravines. Stream crossings and somewhat rigorous hill climbing are required. Streams will be fuller earlier in the season, and crossings are more difficult then. Please carefully assess your physical abilities before you register.
Portable Restrooms are provided in the parking area during tour season only. There are no facilities available during the hike. Trash receptacles are not provided at the site. Please be prepared to remove your own trash.
Registration: Online tour registration is now available. You will want to register early for your tour day as tours fill rather quickly.
Cost: Donations are the sole support for the Table Mountain Tour Program. A $6 donation for each adult in your party is requested in support of this public service.
Donations are non-refundable and can be made by sending a check made payable to the
California Wildlife Foundation
428 13th Street, 10th Floor, Suite A
Oakland, CA 94612
Cancellation Policy: These tours sell out every day they are offered! Kindly let us know if your plans change by the Wednesday preceding your tour by calling (916) 358-2869, so we can make your spot(s) available to others. Donations are retained, with our sincerest appreciation, and you are invited to visit our website again to reschedule your tour.
Visiting Table Mountain on your own: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is open year round dawn to dusk. Hiking and bird watching are popular activities. Wildflower viewing can be spectacular. Wildflower season generally begins in late February through March, with peak blooms in April. However, the season and intensity of wildflower blooms can vary highly from year to year. Mountain biking is not permitted on the reserve. Before your visit please review the Special Restrictions below.
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.
- Removal of mineral, archaeological, or natural resources in any form is prohibited except as provided in Title 14, §650
- Removal or disturbance of any form of plant or animal life is prohibited except as provided in Title 14, §650
- No collecting is allowed except as provided in Title 14, §650.
- Camping is not allowed.
- Fires of any kind are not allowed including fireworks, or other explosive or incendiary devices.
- Dogs on the reserve must be retained on a leash of less than 10 feet.
- Motorized vehicles are prohibited except on designated access roads and parking areas.
- Any refuse resulting from a person's use of an area must be removed from the area by that person.
- Horses and bicycles are prohibited from entering the reserve.
PLEASE NOTE: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses are listed in the current issue of the State of California Fish and Game Commission California Code of Regulations: Title 14, Chapter 11, Section 630.
Hunting: Permitted for deer and upland game, in accordance with the general hunting regulations, through November 15. Hunting is prohibited after Nov. 15 and through the spring turkey season.
Cattle: Cattle grazing on the reserve is used as a management tool to reduce thatch and non-native grass species to benefit native plants. Please do not approach the cattle closer than 300 feet.
For questions regarding North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve call (916) 358-2869.