The Sutter Buttes are the southernmost cluster of inactive volcanoes positioned in the heart of what was the territory of the Maidu Indians. Their name for the buttes was Histum Yani… and the rough translation means the “Middle Mountains”.
Today, we understand that the Sutter Buttes are located in the Sacramento Valley approximately 50 miles north of the city of Sacramento. The buttes cover an area ten miles long and ten miles wide just to the east of the small town of Colusa, and they can be seen for over 100 miles over the valley floor.
They are, in fact, considered to be the “smallest mountain range in the world”. They qualify for this distinction for the following reason: In the field of topography, a ‘mountain’ must be at least 2,000 feet tall. The Sutter Buttes squeak by at 2,060 feet above sea level.
Middle Mountain Foundation (MMF) is a non-profit organization formed with the purpose of educating the general public in the importance of the natural and cultural resources and to encourage preservation, understanding, and good stewardship of these resources.
The MMF has a large selection of hikes with a variety of hike difficulty ratings... they even have classes on how to sketch wildlife drawings... no experience is necessary!
It should be noted that no hiking or backpacking opportunities are available during the summer season due to extreme fire hazard.
Just on the northern outskirts of Colusa along the Sacramento River is the Colusa-Sacarmento River State Recreation Area. There is camping here... although, motorhomes have to be smaller than 27 feet and trailers must be under 24 feet. The park is near downtown Colusa, nine miles east of I-5 on Highway 20, north of Sacramento. The telephone number is (530) 458-4927.
There is great fishing at this site along the Sacramento River. In fact, it is one of the best stretches of river fishing in California. Depending on the time of year, you can catch king salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and striped bass. This California park also has WI-FI available.
Another RV Park that is close to the Buttes is Lovey's Landing. Lovey's is also right on the Sacramento River. The Address is 3474 N. Meridian Road, Meridian, CA 95957 and the telephone number is (530) 696-2449.
Lovey's has 30+ tree-shaded RV sites with full 20/30 amp service. This is a full service RV park with flush toilets, laundry, propane, RV dump, etc. They have good gravel roads, and pull throughs are available.
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A Good Place To Begin The Joshua M. Hardt Memorial Trail Is At The Dam. This 3.5 Mile Trail Is Good For Foot Traffic And Bicycles... No Motorized stuff
The Manzanita Day Use Area Is A Good Place To Sit And Watch The Wind
Another View From The Joshua M. Hardt Memorial Trail... Morning and Evening Are The Best Times To Hike This Trail. The Still Reflections Will Capture Your Attention
You May Want To Bring A Camera... There Are Large Birds Of Prey High In The Ski