Many people have no idea there are California Coastal Redwoods right here in Orange County. It’s actually a very short hike to get to a small grove planted right by Carbon Canyon Dam. They were planted in 1975 so the trees aren’t as large as the Redwoods you typically hear about in Northern California, they were still awesome to see!
Carbon Canyon Regional Park is located in Yorba Linda. Parking does cost $3 weekdays and $5 on the weekend but, like so many of our regional parks here in Orange County, it is worth it! I always recommend getting an OC Parks parking pass to enjoy going to our wonderful parks whenever the mood strikes without having to worry about money for parking.
To get to the trail for the Redwoods, turn left at the main entrance and just keep going until it dead ends at a parking lot. You’ll be able to see the trail head from there.
Here is Megatron sitting in the grass at the parking lot while I was packing my lot up. You’re never to young to get out and and really explore nature. Crawling through the grass, crumpling dead leaves between your fingers, and maybe taking a small taste just to make sure it isn’t something wonderful to eat are great learning experiences for very young children. I can speak from experience that my children, even the babies, are always much happier and better behaved at home when we’ve had some type of outdoor play.
There’s a great climbing tree near the parking lot too. The kids all dumped their backpacks on a branch and were all over the branches. Even Little Miss was able to climb parts of this tree.
The path to the Redwoods is about a mile but an easy hike for the kids. There wasn’t a lot of shade on the trail so I recommend doing this hike on cooler or overcast days. Even in January it can get hot. The day we went hiking was in the 80’s and the hike back had some hot and tired kids.
We did see some really cool insects though. It’s great timing since Green Bubbles is studying insects for science this week. (Edited to add.. Thanks to Allexpects.com we were able to identify this bug as a bark beetle, the Plicate beetle. ( Noserus plicatus) It is a common California beetle.)
By the time we made it to the Redwoods it was a welcome relief. The shade was awesome and the kids loved playing under the trees. They climbed a fallen tree, collected pine cones, and ran around a lot.
Even the birds were hopping around on the fallen leaves and branches.
Green Bubbles found a broken branch which was a great learning oppunity. We were able to discuss the colors the wood, and hence the name of the trees!
A great follow up for the Redwood trees is Redwood EdVentures website. They have games, activities, facts, videos, and even lesson plans for teachers and links to many other helpful websites not just about Redwoods, but ecology in general.