Redwood Grove Hike Guide (Carbon Canyon – Brea)
|In This Guide|
|Total Distance (?)||1.5 miles (2.4 km)|
|Hike Time||1 Hour (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||50 feet (15m)|
|Highest Elevation||430 feet (131m)|
|Fees & Permits||Entry Fee|
|Alerts & Closures (?)||Carbon Canyon Regional Park|
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.
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.
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 Shoe – REI | Amazon
Latest Price on Men’s Shoe – REI | Amazon
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.
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.
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
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.
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
- When the oil ran dry in Olinda, the area was cleaned up and Carbon Canyon Regional Park was created in 1975.
- When the park first opened, 100 Redwood seeds were planted at the grove. The seeds were left over from a bank promotion giving them out to customers opening accounts.
- The trees, usually found in the wet and nutrient-rich soils of Northern California, won’t normally grow this far south. The grove area was selected because it’s low and attracts the most moisture and fog. The grove has a man-made irrigation system that waters the trees five days a week.
- When the trees were originally planted, it was thought that they would grow to their normal height of about 350 feet (higher than the Statue of Liberty). However, the challenging Southern California climate has kept the trees under 100 feet. They’re still impressive and majestic.
Orange County Redwood Grove Hike Directions
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Turn by Turn Directions
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.
The Redwood is the California state tree.
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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