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Big Chico Creek

Coordinates: 39°41′48″N 121°56′29″W / 39.6966°N 121.9414°W / 39.6966; -121.9414
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chico Creek[1]
Big Chico Creek in Upper Bidwell Park
CountryUnited States
RegionButte County, Tehama County
Physical characteristics
 • locationNear Colby Mountain, in Lassen National Park
 • coordinates40°07′25″N 121°30′32″W / 40.12361°N 121.50889°W / 40.12361; -121.50889
 • elevation5,000 ft (1,500 m)
 • location
Confluence with Sacramento River, in the Sacramento Valley
 • coordinates
39°41′48″N 121°56′29″W / 39.6966°N 121.9414°W / 39.6966; -121.9414
 • elevation
120 ft (37 m)
Length46 mi (74 km)
Basin features
River systemSacramento River Basin
 • leftLittle Chico Creek

Big Chico Creek is a creek in northeastern California that originates near Colby Mountain in Lassen National Park. It flows 46 miles (74 km)[2] to its confluence with the Sacramento River in Butte County. The creek's elevation declines from 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level at its head to 120 feet (37 m) where it joins the Sacramento River, as shown on the Ord Ferry USGS quadrangle. Big Chico Creek forms part of the demarcation between the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range.[3]

A portion of Big Chico Creek flows through the city of Chico's Bidwell Park and California State University, Chico.

Natural history[edit]

There are numerous plant and animal species in the riparian zone and entire watershed of Big Chico Creek. A threatened species of Chinook Salmon make annual spawning runs up Big Chico Creek to the area of Higgin's Hole. Among the wildflowers documented in the watershed is the yellow mariposa lily, Calochortus luteus.[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Chico Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 10, 2011
  3. ^ "Local Watersheds: Watersheds of Butte County". Butte Environmental Council. Retrieved July 21, 2021. Big Chico Creek begins its 45 mile journey from a series of springs on Colby Mountain, at the interface between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascade Mountains.
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009