Paradise shares the Ridge with several historic communities
and points of interests. Like a long chain the Skyway links
them all. The Skyway Experience explores the 45
plus miles of the Skyway as it winds its way up and along the Ridge
from Chico to Butte Meadows. When you see a camera, click on it
for a picture of the area.
Most of the side roads are narrow, dirt or gravel
and at times rocky. Not to be traveled upon during winter without 4-wheel
drive. Keep in mind many of these side roads are
private logging roads. Watch out for loaded logging trucks,
especially those traveling "down" the Skyway.
The Skyway to Paradise
The Skyway is the gateway to the historic area of
Paradise and other Ridge communities. We begin in Chico at State Route 99
on the Skyway to Paradise. Passing by a fast growing shopping and business
park area the Paradise Ridge will be in view. Our sojourn begins.
Butte Creek Canyon
Nicknamed Little Grand Canyon, Butte Creek Canyon
is a popular recreation and sightseeing spot. It may be viewed
from Lookout Point located midway between Chico and Paradise on the
Skyway. As a side trip into the canyon, there are two routes.
From Skyway as you're leaving Chico, turn left on Honey Run Road. A
sign to Centerville 9 miles marks the turn.
You may take Honey Run Road from Paradise, but going this direction
on Honey Run is not recommended.
It is a twisting, single-lane road with steep dropoffs on the right.
In the canyon a must stop is the Honey Run Covered Bridge, also
known as the Carr Hill Bridge. It's a tri-level span built in 1894,
one of last in California. The bridge is listed in the National Register of
Historical Places. Picnic tables are available and some annual events
are held there. At the bridge go left on Centerville Road to the
Centerville Museum and the pioneer Centerville Cemetery.
Centerville Road eventually brings you to the north side of Paradise Pines
on Nimshew Road. Taking a right across the bridge is Honey Run Road
Paradise - Elv. 1708
The Gold Rush brought the first white settlers to the Paradise area.
Before then for years the Ridge was home to the Maidu indians. One
of the explanations given for its name come from the early mining days when
Paradise consisted of mainly gambling halls and saloons. The Pair-O-Dice
saloon was one of the most popular.
Traveling through Paradise you will see
many unique shops, motels, restaurants, the Terry Ashe Recreation Center, and the
old Enloe Sanitorium (1925) which still stands at 7209 Skyway as part of the
Evergreen Mobile Home Park. This is just one of the many historic sites
in Paradise. Crossroads Pearson, Bille, and
Wagstaff all cross Paradise east and west and intersect with Clark Road
and Pentz Road. You find lots of shopping on Clark Road, the Library and Post Office.
Feather River Hospital is on Pentz Road, above Pearson. Clark and
Pentz roads meet Skyway at the north end of Paradise.
Magalia - Elv. 2399
Continuing on Skyway we leave Paradise for the communities of (old) Magalia,
Paradise Pines, and the Upper Ridge area. At the intersection of Skyway,
Old Skyway, and Pentz Road, turn left on Old Skyway to Magalia, or
Dogtown as it was once called.
Today it's more commonly known as Old Magalia. It is one of the
communities on the Ridge dating back to the mining and lumbering days of the 1850's.
A historical marker a short distance on the right records the discovery of the
great 54-lb gold nugget at the Willard Mine in the canyon by
the West Branch of the Feather River.
Sawmill Peak - Elv. 3330 (39.48.44N 121.33.24W)
We had a view of Sawmill Peak from the gold nugget historical marker
in Old Magalia. One can see the fire lookout. It is open during the summer months.
Sawmill Peak is accessible for great views of the area and worth a
visit if you're adventureous enough to make the drive.
Access roads are rocky. At the signal light before crossing over
the dam turn right on Coulolenc Road. Coming from Old Skyway through
old Magalia, continue straight.
Just a short distance, turn right on Jordan Hill Road leaving the
pavement heading down into the canyon to the West Branch of the
Feather River and Whiskey Flats. Turn on Sawmill Peak Road
to the peak.
Paradise Lake - Elv. 2543
Continue on Coutolenc Road for about 2 1/2 miles turning left
on Lucretia Road to Paradise Lake. This
lake feeds water into Magalia Reservoir. Has picnicking area, fishing,
and hiking. Along Coutolenc Road are acouple vista points where you can
look out over the West Branch of the Feather River, Whiskey Flats,
and views of Sawmill Peak.
Magalia Reservoir - Elv. 2223
The Magalia Reservoir/Dam separates access between Paradise and the upper Ridge.
As you cross over the dam, the Paradise Irrigation District station
is on the left. The building of the Magalia Reservoir resulted in a large fire
which burned over 3,000 acres. Imagine today what a fire would do, so
be alert to the danger and avoid doing anything that would cause one.
Paradise Pines - Elv. 2600
What has been referred as the newest community on the Ridge is Paradise Pines with an
estimated population 8987 in 1990. Developed by Sam Fortino a miner
with extensive claim acreage. Fortino recognized that the underground
stream known as the Magalia Channel had the potential of being a
source for pure water. This was a channel way below the surface of the Ridge
that frustrated miners who attempted to mine the gravel because of the water
flow. Paradise Pines has grown in population and now has 2 signal lights,
3 if you count Magalia. The Fortino family still maintains a large hold by
owning the Del Oro Water Company and the Pines Golf Course.
Due to this enormous growth, the Post Office was moved to Paradise
Pines from Magalia in 1977, but the postal address remained Magalia. At the
upper end of the Pines, to the right off Skyway on Steiffer Road, is the
Butte Fire Center.
Nimshew - Elv. 2410
Just north of Paradise Pines is the area of the mining community of Nimshew
dating back to the 1860's with several gold producing mines. The best was the
Emma Mine. To visit the Nimshew Pioneer Cemetery, turn left
off Skyway on Nimshew Road for about 1 mile to the cemetery road.
Watch for a white sign on the tree. Follow this narrow dirt road 1/2 mile
to the cemetery on a ridge overlooking Butte Creek Canyon.
De Sabla Lake - Elv. 2740
Can't miss this beautiful lake. Skyway runs along side. A
PG&E group picnic area is on the right side. De Sabla was named after an early
PG&E pioneer, Eugene de Sabla. Construction was completed in 1903. Beyond De Sabla is
Powellton Road which joins Doe Mill Road taking you to
Highway 32. If you're an adventuresome type person you may
want to try this route sometime. The area of the bridge crossing Butte
Creek is popular. Built in 1935, the bridge offers an awesome
view of Butte Creek. It is about 3 miles to the bridge from Skyway.
Remember these roads are narrow, dirt or gravel, and at times rocky. Not to be
traveled upon during winter without 4-wheel drive. See Chapter 8,
Historical Uses and Culteral Resources.
Powellton - Elv. 3635
Off Skyway on Powellton Road the site of Powellton
had a hotel and post office. This was the junction location of a stage
route between Chico and Oroville. Another rough dirt road to travel.
Toadtown - Elv. 2800
Site of some mining activity on Toadtown Way, off Skyway.
Lovelock - Elv. 3035
Winding up the Skyway with towering pines bordering the road we pass
through Lovelock. Established by George Lovelock in 1855,
quartz and placer mining attracted miners here. The Lovelock Inn
here is near the site of the old Lovelock Hotel, Store and Dance Hall
which were operated by the Kitchen family. Leaving Lovelock,
Skyway takes makes a gradual downhill grade, levels out then begins to
About 1 mile southeast of Lovelock, on Coutolenc Road is the
site of Coutolenc which was Old Lovelock, a beautiful,
secluded area in the pines. A hotel and stores were located here. The
Nimshew Pioneer Cemetery is off Coutolenc on Hupp-Coutolenc Road,
a gravel road. Go left up the private road just a short distance after
turning off Coutolenc Road.
Continuing on Hupp-Coutelenc Road brings you back to the Skyway between
De Sabla and Lovelock.
Stirling City - Elv. 3532
Last major populated place on the Skyway with a population around
400, Stirling City was the site of the Diamond Match Lumber
Mill. The only major business serving the public is the Stirling City Hotel,
a 100 year-old
rustic building serving as a bed & breakfast, restaurant, and country store.
Located off Skyway is Clotilde Merlo Park, perhaps one of
the most beautiful spots on the Ridge.
Inskip - Elv. 4815
Skyway narrows leaving Stirling City, the center divider
line disappears. It's fairly straight for about 3 miles and winds up
hill another 3 miles to the last community on the paved Skyway.
This is Inskip. It was developed along a heavily traveled route
used by miners and which eventually became a stage coach route in 1857.
P.M. Kelly took interest and began to develop Inskip with a store and hotel.
Inskip attracted so many miners and businesses that within a year many
more stores, hotels, saloons, and other businesss flourished. Only the
Inskip Hotel and a few smaller buildings remain of this properous
Gold Hill - Elv. 5010 (40.00.08N 121.32.14W)
Bottle Hill - Elv. 5307 (40.01.05N 121.31.58W)
Philbrook & Snag Lakes - Elv. 5546
A few miles above Inskip we take a side trip to Philbrook
Lake. At the "Y" Take Humbug Summit Road passing by the
site of Chapparel, a hotel and stage stop. Soon you'll reach
Philbrook Road, a paved section of road, to the lake. The
paved section only lasts about a mile then the road become dirt and
rocky to the lake. Philbrook, a PG&E recreation area, has
camping and fishing facilities.
The Jones Resort is privately
owned by Ed and Joyce Jones and offers a campground with showers, rental cabins, and a store
(open Friday thru Sunday during the summer). Stop in and chat a bit
with Sherry & Bill Marshall who run the resort for Ed and Joyce.
Discover all what the area has to offer in
the way of history, hiking, biking, gold and rock hunting, scenic views from Sky High mountain.
Over 320 acres of wildnerness beauty, purchased for $10 an acre in the 1930's.
Call (530) 873-3879, leave message and address for more information. Continuing
on Humbug Summit Road takes us to Snag Lake. About 2 miles
further to Butte Creek House, site of a stage stop.
Butte Meadows - Elv. 4351
The great Skyway to Paradise ends here at Butte Meadows.
Service and camping facilities are available. Butte Meadows may also be
reached from Chico via Highway 32.
We've traveled the entire Skyway from its start in Chico
to its end at Butte Meadows, plus a few side trips. Hope your
Skyway Experience was interesting and informative.
Printed versions of the Skyway Experience have been published in
the 1999 and 2000 issues of Paradise Chamber of Commerce
The Skyway Experience: Revised April 2004