A number of years ago the Forest Service create a trailhead for snowmobiles up near Butte Meadows. As part of the agreement, a separate trail for cross country skiers was established and marked.
For those of you who have never been to Butte Meadows before, drive up Hwy. 32 from Chico and turn right at the sign directing you to Butte Meadows. Naturally, some portions of this road may be covered with snow, so use caution and common sense, bring chains and a shovel.
Drive past Butte Meadows, past the Cherry Hill Campground and continue on to the snowmobile park parking lot at the end of the road. The trailhead for cross country skiers is just off the parking lot on the left side. You will see a small footbridge that takes you over to the start of the meadow trail. Thanks to the Forest Service and Larry Crisman for spearheading that bridge project — it used to be “exciting” to get across the stream.
Once across the creek, head across the meadow, sticking more or less to the treeline on the right. You’ll come across a road that skirts the meadows as it wanders in and out of the trees.
Eventually the road will curve left and cross over Colby Creek by way of a large culvert pipe. The road heads up the old Colby Mtn. Rd. and keeps climbing until it intersects with the snowmobile route and ends up at the Colby Mtn. Lookout after another 1.3 miles. Snowmobiles are allowed on this last 1.3 mile section.