Spectacular Spring Hikes at Dye Creek and Vina Plains Preserves

The Nature Conservancy’s free tours provide the public with an opportunity to view the region’s most spectacular landscapes with knowledgeable and entertaining guides.

Red Bluff, California

The Nature Conservancy will host a series of free public hikes on two breathtaking preserves in the Chico area. The 37,540-acre Dye Creek Preserve, located near Los Molinos, and the Vina Plains Preserve, 12 miles north of Chico. Because the preserves are working cattle ranches, the Conservancy’s semi-annual tours provide the public with an opportunity to view some of the region’s most spectacular landscapes with knowledgeable and entertaining guides, providing insight on many cultural, geological and biological points of interest.

All events are held rain or shine, with the exception of a serious downpour. Sturdy footwear/hiking boots are a requirement. The weather may be hot, or humid and wet, so wear layered clothing, and bring waterproof clothing and a hat. Carry plenty of drinking water, and bring a lunch. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Space is limited to 25 persons, so visitors are advised to book early. To book a reservation or receive more information, contact Jackson Shedd of The Nature Conservancy at (760) 707-6942 or jshedd@tnc.org (e-mail preferred).


Vina Plains—Saturday, March 8, from 10 AM until 12 PM

During the spring the Vina Plains Preserve comes alive with colorful wildflowers which carpet the grasslands and ring the vernal pools in spectacular bands of color. The pools support many rare, threatened or endangered species and attract a large array of waterfowl and shorebirds that feast on small crustaceans that fill the pools this time of year.

The one-mile hike is relatively flat, but the surface will be uneven, and may be wet and slippery in places, depending on the weather. The hike will be led by California Native Plant Society botanists, who are extremely knowledgeable about the flora of the site. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are a MUST!


Dye Creek Canyon—Saturday, March 8, March 22, and April 5, from 9 AM until 2 PM

The four- to five-mile hike follows the course of Dye Creek itself, which cuts through a pristine setting of volcanic buttes, hills and extensive blue oak woodlands, before flowing into the Sacramento River. Expect spectacular views, spring flowers and occasional wildlife sightings, such as deer, golden eagles and peregrine falcons (binoculars enhance the experience). You’ll also have a rare opportunity to explore a cave thought to be frequented by Ishi, the last survivor of the Yahi Indian Tribe. This hike is somewhat rigorous, and hiking boots and plenty of water are a MUST!

Please note: A good level of fitness and agility is required to complete the hike. Hikers will have to traverse a creek and navigate steep, rocky terrain. Dogs are not allowed during these events.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at www.nature.org. To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit www.nature.org/global. To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Jackson Shedd
(760) 707-6942


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