Paradise Ridge Communities Web Pages

The Skyway Experience

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] 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.

 [Picture]   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 to Paradise.

   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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 twist uphill.


    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.

 [Picture]   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.

 [Picture]   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 mining community.

   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 Relocation Guide.

The Skyway Experience: Revised April 2004

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