Carbon Canyon Regional Park


Carbon Canyon Regional Park (or simply Carbon Canyon Park) is a regional park in Brea, California, that was created after the Carbon Canyon Creek was dammed. It links up with Chino Hills State Park on the east side. The park also is home to a small forest of Redwood trees, which have been struggling to survive since the start of the 2010 California drought.

Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Carbon Canyon Park
Carbon canyon regional park lake.jpg
The lake that is found in the center of the park.
Carbon Canyon Regional Park is located in southern California
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Location of the park on a map of Southern California.
LocationBrea, California, United States
Coordinates33°55′12″N 117°50′13″W / 33.920°N 117.837°W / 33.920; -117.837Coordinates: 33°55′12″N 117°50′13″W / 33.920°N 117.837°W / 33.920; -117.837
Area124 acres
Openingc. 1975 (1975)
Owned byOrange County, California
OpenFall–Winter: 7AM–6PM
Spring–Summer: 7AM–9PM
Water1 lake
Main sign of the park during the summer
Horse trail that leads into the park


The land that the park currently sits on used to be the town of Olinda just before the 1880s. It wasn't until a dam on Carbon Canyon Creek was built to prevent flooding that the area became a park.[1]


Carbon Canyon Regional Park has the following facilities:

Redwood forestEdit

A small, three-acre forest of Coastal Sequoia redwood trees reside within the park's boundaries and is host to various species of birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and fauna.[2] The forest was threatened in 2008 by the Triangle Fire and by the California drought from 2010 to 2016.[3]

The staff at Carbon Canyon Park have met with specialists from UC Irvine and Disneyland in order to put a new system in place that will sustain the forest through the current drought.[4] Despite these efforts, one tree was cut down in 2015 due to it being sick and near death.[5]


The park is used by people who want to have picnics or to celebrate holidays. The hiking trail to the Redwood forest also attracts hikers.[6] It is also a frequent training and competitive area for various cross country teams.[7][8][9][10]

Fire fightingEdit

OCFA helicopter extracting water from the lake in the park

The lake in the park is often used to fill fire fighting helicopters when responding to fires in the area.[11]

The most notable use like this was during the Triangle Fire in 2008. The fire was threatening the eastern side of the city of Brea; including the Hollydale, Olinda Village, and Olinda Ranch communities, alongside Carbon Canyon Regional Park.[12]


The lake in the center of the park was rebuilt in 2014 due to reduced water quality and capacity, which resulted in OC Parks not being able to stock the lake with fish.[13]

Demolition of the existing lake began on July 14, 2014. The lake had to be drained completely in order for heavy equipment to be used to remove approximately 9,500 cubic yards of silt. The silt had accumulated under the lake over the course of 17 years from runoff and wildfires. Removal of the silt was started in August 2014.[13]

Removal was completed in October 2014 and the process of refilling the lake started. Fish were stocked approximately a month after the refilling was completed.[13]


  1. ^ "Carbon Canyon Regional Park History". OCParks. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Orange County, California – Carbon Canyon Regional Park". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. ^ Clay, Joanna (25 June 2015). "O.C. redwoods in peril: County working to keep treasured grove in Carbon Canyon park alive in drought". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  4. ^ "California redwood trees stressed to breaking point by drought, dying in Southern California". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Drought killing redwoods in Southern California". ChicoER. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Morning hike through the redwoods". The Orange County Register. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Defender Mancilla Has Stopping Power". CSUF News Center. 8 September 2015. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  8. ^ Gonzales, Christian (1 September 2015). "Men's cross country prepares for first meet this weekend". Talon Marks. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  9. ^ "USC Opens Cross Country Season By Placing Second at Mark Covert Classic". USC Trojans. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  10. ^ Moncada, Andrew (29 September 2011). "Cross country teams take on top teams at Notre Dame Invitational". The Daily Bruin. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  11. ^ Weber, Scott (7 July 2007). "Brush Fire Spreads in Carbon Canyon". NBC Southern California. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Freeway Complex Fire After Action Report" (PDF). Orange County Fire Authority Media. 15 November 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  13. ^ a b c "Carbon Canyon Regional Park Lake Restoration". 14 July 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2016.