Cache Creek offers a rare opportunity for four season outdoor recreation in a relatively low elevation setting.The creek provides class II-III whitewater during the Spring and early Summer months for kayaks and small rafts. Private and commercial whitewater boaters can enjoy the 18 mile-long upper wilderness run, with virtually no roads or civilized intrusions, or the 11 mile-long highway run, with easy access to Hwy 16.
Cache Creek recieved Wild and Scenic River Protection in 2005 and wilderness protection in 2006.
Yolo County operates one campground and three picnic and river access parks along the lower portion of the creek. During the summer irrigation season, releases from upstream dams provide consistent flows along the highway segment for hundreds of people who float the creek in inner tubes and wade its pools to escape the Central Valley heat.
Spring is the best time to visit the area on foot or by horse. The grass covered hills turn green, punctuated by the colorful displays of wildflowers. Some areas along the creek provide important habitat for sensitive plants, including the rare adobe lily. The Red Bud trail is a favorite route for hikers who want to take in the seasonal wildflower display and observe wildlife.
Cache Creek hosts one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles in California. In recent years, some of these threatened raptors have become permanent residents in the canyon, nesting in large river-side trees. The surrounding valleys and hills also provide habitat for one of the largest tule elk herds in the state. Black bear often prowl the beaches of Cache Creek, in search of carp, catfish, and other food.
This area is so rich in Native American culture that it is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. Several village sites were formerly located along the creek - the only evidence today marking these sites are occasional grinding holes and house pits.
How To Get There
From the town of Williams on Interstate 5, proceed west on Hwy 20 approximately 28 miles to the Red Bud trailhead, which is located where Hwy 20 crosses the North Fork Cache Creek. Lower Cache Creek is accessible along Hwy 16, from its intersection with Hwy 20 in the west or from the town of Woodland in the east.
Recreation And Visitor Information
For maps and additional recreation information, contact the Bureau of Land Management's Ukiah Field Office at 2550 N. State Street, Ukiah CA 95482, phone: (707) 468-4000.