Redwoods in Southern California?! Definitely and it’s amazing! I have to admit, the hike is not shaded, so bring a hat and plan to go early, but the difference in temperature once we entered the redwood patch was quite welcomed! We felt like we entered a different world and it was quite magical.
We made this trip about 3 weeks ago, when my kids were on Spring Break. Even though we started early, the direct sun made it feel warmer than it really was (low 70s) and my kids stopped frequently for water breaks. Luckily there were a few benches along the way. The hike is so short (about a mile) that it’s more of a nature walk and it is quite pleasant otherwise.
We entered through the Carbon Canyon/Brea side of the Park (see map here). This park continues on into parts of Yorba Linda and Chino Hills. I wanted to visit the redwoods for quite awhile, but it had been ‘closed indefinitely’ after all the rain this winter. Part of the Carbon Canyon Park includes the Brea dam, so when it rains, it’s definitely a low point and prone to flooding. So imagine my joy when I found out it was finally opened again!
Below is a view near the trailhead. I love this view towards the trail…one can’t really see the redwoods yet, and it’s amazing that just a short walk later, it appears out of nowhere.
I visited the Redwoods previously in the summer and and it was very dry and mostly brown. So I was very happy to see the wildflowers and green everywhere I looked!
At first I thought the yellow patch of flowers below were sunflowers but I was told that these are the invasive mustard plants that were crowding out the wildflowers. I know there are efforts to control the spread of these plants, but it’s awfully difficult. At least though, it’s a more beautiful view than the plain brown/dry vegetation and dirt in the summer.
If you peek through the trees, you can see a little lake. Carbon Canyon Park also has a lake along with various play structures and picnic areas. I promised the kids we’d go there after the hike.
Below, this was our view through most of the hike. Very pleasant and beautiful. 🙂 But be sure to stay on the trail because there was a good amount of poison ivy growing along the sides. The kids had a field day pointing out all the signs warning about poison ivy/oak.
Above is one of many benches along the way. The kids chose to eat their granola bars here and rest their legs. This location made for some pretty nice family photos.
And then, we saw the Redwoods!
It was absolutely amazing. I’ve seen Redwoods up north, and though these are not that mature, they are every bit just as grand. Especially since it’s so dry and hot in Southern California. How did these trees manage to survive? The answer is underground irrigation. When we walked into the patch, our shoes got a bit damp, and there were some slightly muddy areas. I forgot to take a photo explaining it all, but it’s pretty neat.
I think I took more photos of the views above and all around instead :).
There is definitely a sense of peace and calm as I stood admiring the trees. If we were quiet enough, we heard the rustling of leaves from above and birds chirping all around. The ground was soft with bark mulch and I smelled dampness and wood in the air. Only remnants of light were filtered through the tall trees and we appreciated the transformation into this mystical world. It felt even more magical because of the difference in temperature outside the patch; almost like an oasis in the middle of nowhere.
After a nice long rest break, we headed back. On our way, we saw the dam from a distance. We could’ve taken that way back, but the kids were in a hurry to go to the play structures, so we skipped it this time.
I took another look at the greens and yellows surrounding us, trying to remember it all. Come summertime, the color will be all gone. Luckily we were able to see this before it disappears. And the redwoods? A treat anytime! 🙂
Thanks for reading! 🙂