Orland Buttes - Eagle Pass Trail

cv-orland buttesThe low but steep Orland Buttes punctuate flatlands that surround Orland, hiding scenic Black Butte Lake and offering awesome views from their summits. Black Butte Lake, fed by Stony Creek, is a popular fishing spot. The lake was named for the prominent geological rock cliff formations near Eagle Pass called the Orland Buttes. These buttes were formed by an extensive lava flow occurring millions of years ago that poured from the vicinity of Chico. Take this hike on a clear day from December through April and be rewarded with countless photogenic vistas displaying snowcapped mountains beyond rolling green hills in all directions. Bird enthusiasts can also have a field day on this excursion (pick up the bird brochure from park headquarters). Don't come expecting flower displays, for grasses and rock outcrops dominate here. This journey over the mysterious Orland Buttes and along Black Butte Lake is full of solitude, especially during winter and early spring. By late May, this exposed area gets miserably hot and full of stickers, and the views get hazy.

Trail Details: 6 total miles with a 300' elevation gain. Trail is out and back with an easy to moderate skill level. Recommended for hiking with children and birdwatching. Year-round; but best during winter. From I-5, take the main Orland exit (Hwy 32) and drive west on Newville Rd. After 7.9 miles, turn left and follow the signs for Eagle Pass for the last mile. Park in the large lot at the paved road's end.

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