Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Established in the 1950s (actually, the first nature center in the LA County park system), San Dimas Canyon Park is a family-friendly, easily accessible location in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, complete with a nature center, nature trail, wildlife sanctuary, and junior naturalist and ranger programs. The park has picnic areas, BBQ pit, restrooms, campground, lots of open space for the kids, and is pooch-friendly!

We came out here in March of 1998 when tons of the ubiquitous non-native mustard and wild radish were in bloom along the trail. I'm no fan of invasive weeds, to put it mildly, but I have to admit that the large swaths of mustard yellow carpeting the hillsides were, ahem, kinda pretty...

3/8/98 San Dimas Canyon Nature Trail.

3/8/98 San Dimas Canyon Nature Trail (lots of that 'pretty' invasive mustard).

3/8/98 Gil, surrounded by mustard and wild radish. San Dimas Canyon Nature Trail.

3/8/98 View of Mt. Baldy in the background. San Dimas Canyon Nature Trail.

3/8/98 A red-tailed hawk at the wildlife rehab center.


Location: Foothills of the Gabriel Mountains, in the City of San Dimas

County/State: Los Angeles County, CA

Size: 138 acres

Management: LA County Parks & Recreation

Directions: From the 210 Fwy. east, exit San Dimas Ave. and turn left. On Foothill Blvd., turn right. Left on San Dimas Canyon Rd. For the park, immediately turn right into the regional park's  parking lot. For the nature center, turn left on Sycamore Canyon Rd. and then turn right into the nature center driveway.

Websites: (San Dimas Canyon Nature Center)

Nature Center: Wildlife sanctuary & rehab center, animal exhibits, natural history museum, small gift shop

Trails: 1 mile self-guided loop trail at the nature center. Other trails are also accessible from this area - check with the nature center for more info.

Fees: None

Amenities: picnic areas, BBQs, bathrooms (inside the nature center), youth group camping.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset (6:30am - 6:00pm). Nature center open daily (except for Mondays & holidays), 1o:00am - 4:00pm

Pets: Allowed

Contact Info: San Dimas Canyon Nature Center Associates, 1628 N. Sycamore Canyon Rd., San Dimas, CA 91773, Tel (909)599-7512

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