Butte Creek (Butte County, California)

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Butte Creek
Honey Run Covered Bridge.jpg
Honey Run Covered Bridge across Butte Creek
Country United States
State California
Counties Butte, Glenn, Colusa, Sutter
Part of Sacramento River basin
 - left Little Butte Creek (Butte County, California), Hamlin Slough, Cherokee Canal
Cities Diamondville, Chico, Durham
Source Near Cirby Meadow
 - location About 5 miles (8.0 km) NE of Belden, Butte County
 - elevation 6,260 ft (1,908 m)
 - coordinates 40°04′45″N 121°22′26″W / 40.07917°N 121.37389°W / 40.07917; -121.37389 [1]
Mouth Sacramento River
 - location Between Colusa and Meridian
 - elevation 52 ft (16 m) [1]
 - coordinates 39°11′41″N 121°56′11″W / 39.19472°N 121.93639°W / 39.19472; -121.93639Coordinates: 39°11′41″N 121°56′11″W / 39.19472°N 121.93639°W / 39.19472; -121.93639 [1]
Length 93 mi (150 km), North-south
Basin 560 sq mi (1,450 km2) est.
Discharge for Chico, CA
 - average 411 cu ft/s (12 m3/s) [2]
 - max 35,600 cu ft/s (1,008 m3/s)
 - min 44 cu ft/s (1 m3/s)

Butte Creek is tributary to the Sacramento River, joining the river in the vicinity of Colusa, California, United States. About 93 miles (150 km) in length,[3] it runs through much of Butte County, California (the county, however, receives its name from the Sutter Buttes in Sutter County, California). It travels through a spectacular mini-Grand Canyon as it reaches the Sacramento Valley floor, where it then flows somewhat south and west of the city of Chico towards the southwestern corner of the county.

Recent efforts have brought back Chinook salmon and steelhead runs to the stream.

There are several dams in its upper reaches. The PG&E has facilities at Centerville. The Paradise Irrigation District has Paradise Dam impounding Paradise Lake and the smaller Magalia Dam just beneath it on Little Butte Creek.

The creek is notable for the Honey Run Covered Bridge, the only remaining three-level covered bridge left in the United States. It is the centerpiece of Honey Run Covered Bridge Park. Subjected to repeated vandalism, the bridge and the park require the continuous presence of a resident attendant photos.

The Colman Museum, headquartered in Chico, California, is dedicated to preserving the history and beauty of the Butte Creek canyon. Whitewater kayaking on Butte Creek is popular, in part because of the outstanding scenery of the "Little Grand Canyon" section of the creek near Chico.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Butte Creek". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 1981-01-19. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  2. ^ "USGS Gage #11390000 on Butte Creek near Chico, California" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. 1931–2009. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed March 10, 2011