That even sounds nice, doesn’t it? Paradise Flume Trail. That’s been on our agenda since we moved to Oroville in March, and we finally made there last Wednesday.
Getting There From Oroville
It’s a nice little drive from Oroville to Paradise, up Highway 70 to Penz Road. We followed Penz Road to Dean Road and turned off there. That starts out as a reasonable little black-top road that winds its way down into the river canyon. After a bit, it turns into a steep corkscrew of a winding gravel road, but it’s doable as long as your car isn’t too low to the ground. If you have a low-slung car, then you should park at the hospital down the road and get to the Paradise Flume Trail from there. Otherwise, drive down the corkscrew to a gravel parking lot and hit the trail there.
Description of the Paradise Flume Trail
If you turn right on the trail, you’re going downhill, eventually ending up at the reservoir that the flume dumps into. We didn’t go that far, but Google Map assures me that this is true. We turned right and started down the trail, which slopes very gradually downhill.
The trail alternates between a friendly little dirt trail next to the flume and a metal catwalk above the flume. That metal catwalk might not be everybody’s ideal of a good time. It’s certainly wide enough that a person doesn’t have any problem walking normally on it, but I’m the biggest klutz in the world, notorious for falling into streams, tripping over anything in sight, and sometimes just falling down for no reason at all. The short sections didn’t bother me at all. But I found that on the long sections I started thinking about what a klutz I was. A person really, really wouldn’t want to trip on that catwalk! We passed a nice man headed back upstream. He told us that the catwalk section coming up was a mile long, so we turned back before that.
When we got back to where we started from, we continued upstream, since the theory with that is that you can get to the dam. We found the trail closed a couple of miles into it, so no dam for us, but I was glad we went that way anyhow. Very pretty trail. Catwalk sections weren’t too long, and by then I was getting over it with the klutz-worry.
There were a lot of sections of serpentinite rock. Very pretty green, but the photos I took of it didn’t show the color at all. Wikipedia has a nice article on this rock.