Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Loafing at Loafer Creek, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

Date: April 20-22, 2014
Place: Loafer Creek Campground, Lake Oroville, Oroville, California
Coordinates: 39.526396, -121.447537
Difficulty: easy
Length: about 1.5 miles

Spring break is such a fine idea. What a great time to take the family for spring time exploration of California!
The bad drought has affected the wildflower bloom in most of California. Looking for places where we could still see the colorful spring spectacle we decided to go first to the Oroville area. We camped for two nights at the Loafer Creek Campground of Lake Oroville State Recreation Area.
A woodpecker larder
Loafer Creek Campground is sparse, shaded, and while we were there, was almost empty and very quiet. I assume that during summer it is more crowded. We were thankful for the quiet and the relative solitude.
Lark Sparrow
There were many little birds all over the place and Papa Quail was busy documenting them for most of our loafing time :-)
Oak Titmouse
There are some hiking trails around the campground. We arrived there early enough to squeeze in a little hike after pitching our tent.
Map portion scanned from Park's brochure. Our trail is labeled yellow.
It took some time to find the trailhead. I didn't mind at all: the weather was perfect and the area is beautiful and very lush.
Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Around the campground were velvet-green carpets of the non-native Hairy Vetch. It's and invasive weed, but a very pretty one.
Non-native Hairy Honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula) visiting the non-native Hairy Vetch (Vicia villosa)
With all this green one might forget that this is a drought year in California. The elder chika found the evidence of previous rains: 

The trail took us through shaded woodland,

and through open meadows dotted with wildflowers.
White Brodiaea (Triteleia hyacinthina)
Most of the flowers I already knew from the Bay Area. I was happy to see them.
White Globe Lily (Calochortus albus)
Some were new to me.
Valley Checkerbloom (Sidalcea hartwegii)
The sun was going down and we were only half-way of the loop we were on. At some point we crossed a dirt road, which was not labeled on the map but seemed to go in the direction we needed, so we took it. Sure enough, it led us right back to the campground.
Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus)
We stayed at Loafer Creek for two nights. On our second day we went to explore North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve, where the spring wildflower spectacle has become a cause for pilgrimage for flower lovers from all over.
Chipping Sparrow at Loafer Creek Campground
But even out time at the campground itself was very rewarding. You can ask the other birds: they're there year-round :-)
White-breasted Nuthatch


  1. very nice trip :-)

    As I wrote before, I stopped getting notifications on new posts and cannot seem to fix it.
    Can you please notify about new posts in facebook ?

    1. Hi Moti, I understand there's a problem and I'll send a question to the blog hosts about it. Have you tried the 'follow blog' or the email notification widget?

    2. I used the "Follow by email" box on the top right corner. I'm not sure what is it...

    3. I have no idea what is the problem and I couldn't find an address to send questions too :-( I subscribed to myself and I'll see if I get notification next time I publish a post. Meanwhile I'll be posting on Facebook too.

  2. lovely! the last picture is great!!