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North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve

North Table Mountain ER landscape

North Table Mountain ER close-up of flowers


Created by ancient lava (basalt) flows, the approximately 3,300 acre North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is an elevated basalt mesa with beautiful vistas of spring wildflowers, waterfalls, lava outcrops, and a rare type of vernal pool, called Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools. Typically fissures in the basalt soak up winter rains, forming seasonal streams and waterfalls. In a few places, however, the underlying basalt is impermeable to water forming a temporary pool. Soon to dry up after rains end, only specialized plants and animals adapted to this habitat can survive over time.

Despite the impacts of non-native invasive plant species, range management practices, such as cattle grazing, have contributed to maintaining spectacular wildflower blooms that draw many visitors from near and far to the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve.

For more information, call the North Central Region Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900 or the reserve at (916) 358-2869.

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Either Guided or Self-guided Interpretive Nature Tours Deer Hunting Quail Hunting Turkey Hunting

PLEASE NOTE: For information on public use regulations for this area and other Department lands please refer to the CDFW Public Lands Regulations.All visitors are responsible for knowing and following these regulations.

Hours: North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve is open year round dawn to dusk.

Activities: Hiking, wildlife viewing, guided wildflower tours, and hunting

Sturdy closed-toe footwear and water bottles are advised when visiting the area.  Cattle grazing on the reserve is used as a management tool to reduce thatch and non-native grass species to benefit native plants. Please do not approach the cattle closer than 300 feet.

Hunting: Deer, quail and turkey may be present

Area History

Livestock grazing has been the major historical land use of the reserve, though beginning in 1848 there was extensive mining activity immediately to the north, east, and south sides of the mountain.

The property was acquired by the Department in 1993 to preserve the Northern Basalt Flow Vernal Pools habitat type and sensitive species. Funds for this acquisition were provided by Proposition 70, a 1988 voter-approved initiative that designated funds specifically for the acquisition of Significant Natural Areas as identified by the Department. Additional land was acquired in 1997 to enable direct public access from the gravel parking lot on Cherokee Road. The property was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 2003.

Related Documents

Trail Project Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration

Outdoor California Article

Last update : 2/15/2017 4:11:45 PM

Wildlife Branch - Lands Program
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411

North Table Mountain ER

Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Butte County

Approximately 7 miles north of Oroville

Directions: From Hwy 70 in Oroville. Exit at Grand Ave (Exit 48). Go East (right) on Grand Ave for 1 mile. Left on Table Mountain Blvd for a tenth of a mile. Right on Cherokee Road 6.3 miles north to the reserve. Official access is through a small parking lot on the west side of Cherokee Road.

CDFW Lands Viewer