If you’ve ever wished you could walk through fields of wildflowers with waterfalls around every corner then North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve in the springtime is the place for you! It is best to take your time and make a day of it. Start off by getting a picnic lunch at Wagon Wheel Market where you can find fresh local food and a delicious deli! Official access to the reserve is through a parking lot on the west side of Cherokee Road. You will know you’ve arrived when you see a blue gate. There are no specific trails so you have to explore this area old-school style by following streams to get to the waterfalls or by using a compass. There are several species of flowers that bloom during this period. The most common are lupine, frying-pan poppy, and goldfields. The flowers are protected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, so picking them is illegal, but visitors are allowed to look and even touch the flowers, as long as they are not damaged. The best flowers are usually found in the area between Fern and Phantom Falls.
After spending the day chasing waterfalls and hiking through ancient lava fields, you can grab a bite to eat and a beer at The Exchange in Oroville, just a 20-minute drive away.
Passes: A CDFW Lands Pass must be carried by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, visitors who are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license in their name are exempt from this requirement. Lands passes may be purchased on-line, by phone at (800) 565-1458, or in-person at locations wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Lands passes cannot be substituted for Wildlife Area Hunting Passes, which are required for adult hunters on Type-A and Type-B wildlife areas.