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Carbon Canyon Redwood Hike Guide Brea

Redwood Grove Hike Guide (Carbon Canyon – Brea)

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn-by-Turn Directions to the Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove
  • How to Get to the Carbon Canyon Regional Park
  • Insider Tips and Recommendations for the Hike
Total Distance (?)1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Hike Time1 Hour (Total)
Difficulty (?)Easy
Total Ascent (?)50 feet (15m)
Highest Elevation430 feet (131m)
Fees & PermitsEntry Fee
Dogs AllowedLeashed
Alerts & Closures (?)Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Park Phone714-973-3160

It’s an easy hike to visit Southern California’s largest Redwood Grove, located in Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The Redwood grove, while not as majestic as those in Northern California, is still impressive. You’ll be able to wander in the shade of over 200 Redwoods, which would not survive in the hot, dry Southern California climate without the loving attention of OC Parks. It’s a great hike that’s easy for families and beginners.

This is a popular hike. Come as early as possible for the best experience.

Where is the Orange County Redwood Grove?

The Redwood Grove is tucked away in a corner of Carbon Canyon Regional Park. Use this address for the park:
Carbon Canyon Regional Park, 4442 Carbon Canyon Rd, Brea, CA 92823

There is a fee to enter the park.

Redwood Grove Carbon Canyon Parking
When you enter the park, drive down to the large south parking lot.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 3
There’s a massive dirt parking lot for the Redwood Grove hike. On nice days it can get full.

There are bathrooms and water fountains throughout the park. There’s also a water fountain at the Redwood grove.

Gear For the Hike

This hike is short and flat. Wear comfortable shoes and casual fitness clothes. It can get very hot and dusty on the way to the grove. If you get thirsty, there is a water fountain at the start of the grove.

Lone Peak 5

Altra Lone Peak 5
For most people, the Altra Lone Peak is a solid choice that will leave your feet feeling great at the end of any hike. The feel is cushy and light, and if it had a car equivalent, this would be a Cadillac or Mercedes Sedan. The grip is great and they’re reasonably durable for this type of trail runner, which I think is better in most conditions than a hiking boot, and here’s why. The downside of this shoe is that it won’t last as long as something like the Moab 2 (see alternate footwear choices at the bottom of my gear page). I’ve been using mine for many miles and my feet always feel great. Watch my video explaining why they are a great shoe here.

Latest Price on Women’s ShoeREI | Amazon
Latest Price on Men’s ShoeREI | Amazon

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

Stay Safe Out of Cell Phone Range
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Garmin InReach Mini (REI | Amazon | My Review) fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS Mapping App
Smartphones are not backcountry instruments, but almost everyone has one today. And they all have GPS onboard. So I recommend getting a good GPS hiking app like Gaia GPS that supports offline maps. Just make sure to put your phone in airplane mode so the battery doesn’t drain. GaiaGPS not only has smartphone and tablet apps, but also an online planning tool. You can drag the GPX hike tracks from my (or any) guides into the online map and they will sync to your phone. You can also check for wildfires, weather, snow, and choose from dozens of map types with a premium membership (HikingGuy readers get up a big discount here). Note that I also carry a paper map with me in case the phone dies or gets smashed.

Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated September 2021.

My September 2021 Top Gear Picks

No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps keep the website ad and promotion free. There is no cost to you.

Redwood Grove Trail Maps

Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 2
The trail is well marked with these posts leading you to the Redwood Grove.
Click Here To View

Explore Map on CalTopoView a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

If you try to download the GPX file and your browser adds a “.txt” or “.xml” extension to it, simply rename it as a “.gpx” file.

Fenix 6 Pro

How are you going to navigate this hike?
To start, you should always have a paper map and compass. And it helps to print this guide out or save it on your phone. I highly recommend a GPS as well. I use the Garmin Fenix 6 Smart GPS watch ( REI | Amazon | My Review) with maps (or the more affordable Garmin Instinct). The GPS smartwatch is nice because it’s rugged, works if your phone dies, and also has a billion other features like sleep tracking, workout recording, etc.

The Redwood Grove Story

Redwood Grove Olinda Historic
Today there is a scenic and serene Redwood grove. In 1890, the area of the park was a booming oil town named “Olinda,” seen here in 1900. So, unlike most of Orange County, which went from scenic lands to development, the area at Carbon Canyon Regional Park did the opposite, from oil town to parkland. There is hope… Photo SoCa Digitization Project

Orange County Redwood Grove Hike Directions

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Video Directions

Turn by Turn Directions

Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 4
The trail starts at the end of the big parking lot on the right.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 5
The trailhead is well marked. Read any posted notices at the trailhead.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 7
At the first big intersection, hike left into Coyote Pass.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 8
Here’s the sign at that junction. Head through Coyote Pass, which sounds more epic than it really is.

In the distance is Carbon Canyon Dam, opened in 1961, which handles overflow and flooding from the Santa Ana River drainage system. The dam is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which also leases the Redwood Grove area to OC Parks.

Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 9
Coyote Pass is a short stretch that crosses the (99% of the time dry) Carbon Canyon Creek.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 10
Make the right after Coyote Pass.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 11
Hike as the trail meanders down to the left.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 12
At the trail junction, hike left.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 13
And then you’ll see the Redwoods poking above the surrounding trees.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 14
And then you reach the grove. Some people walk up the road and then come back through, but I find it nicer to head into the grove and come back the same way.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 15
There’s a water fountain at the entrance.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 16
And here you are, the Redwood grove! Hike up the path through the fences.

The Redwood is the California state tree.

Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 17
Immediately you’ll feel the coolness that the shade provides.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 18
Cross the clearing to continue through the other side of the grove.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 19
And then there’s more Redwood trees to enjoy!
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 20
When the trail ends at the road, turn around and head back the way you came.
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 1
You’ll notice signs at the end for photography areas. This is a popular spot for engagement photoshoots (which require a permit).
Carbon Canyon Redwood Grove Hike 21
And as you head back, if you get lost, look for trail signs toward the picnic area, which is where you started.

This guide last updated on September 15, 2021. Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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