Best Wildflower Viewing in Northern California: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve
North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is a little known best spot to view wildflowers in Northern California near Oroville, CA.
It’s located about 7 miles north of Oroville, CA on Cherokee Rd. There’s not an exact address.
How to Get to Table Mountain from Sacramento:
Take I-5 North to CA-70 North
Exit at Grand Ave and go right (East) for 1 mile
Make a Left on Table Mountain Blvd for .10 mile
Then go Right on Cherokee Rd. and drive 6.3 miles and look for the parking lot on the west side.
It’s about a 1.5 hour drive from Sacramento.
Table Mountain Ecological Preserve is a gem for wildflower viewing, bird watching, and just exploring the natural world and it’s free to visit and time of the year. During the spring bloom the scenery is like a scene out of a painting. With no trails, you can let the kids take the lead and venture into any part of the preserve. You’ll find native plants and wildflowers in every direction, lizards and wildlife near the rock outcroppings, vernal pools, and streams and waterfalls to explore.
Food: None available. This preserve is peaceful and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Bring a picnic and blanket to sit on. Bring your own garbage bag as garbage cans are not provided.
Restrooms: The only bathrooms are port-a-potties located in the parking lot and these may only be there during the spring wildflower bloom. Stop in Oroville for a bathroom break with the kids before heading to the preserve.
Bring a kite! With endless open fields and lots of windy days, it’s perfect for kite flying. For the same reason, do bring a sweater or sweatshirt and a jacket.
There are no trails, so do watch where you and your kids are walking. Try to step on as few of the wildflowers as possible.
The Table Mountain Ecological Preserve is open year round. March to May is the best time for wildflower viewing, but it can be crowded during this time of year.
Don’t harass or get to close to any cattle you may encounter. Cattle are allowed to graze on the preserve as part of the management of the land. Cattle grazing actually improve the habitat for the wildflowers and wildlife.
Don’t forget the camera!