Our First Visit to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park – Riverside, CA

We love to hike, but sometimes we’re more interested in exploring wide-open spaces than climbing to the top of a hill. Last Sunday, my wife and I planned to spend the day roaming the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve in Murrieta, but decided to stay local and visit the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park in Riverside instead.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

While Sycamore Canyon is tucked in between homes and businesses, it is much larger than we expected. From myscamorecanyon.com:

The Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is a large 1,500 acre public open space park that is one of eight protected, core reserves. Designated by the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency (RCHCA) for the Federally-listed endangered species Dipodomys stephensi, the Stephens’ kangaroo rat (SKR), the park serves as both a habitat and a recreational hub.

We went for a 3.4-mile hike and only explored a small part of the park.

First Hike at Sycamore Canyon

Since this was our first trip, I checked the internet to find out where to go. I found this map on mysycamorecanyon.com:

Sycamore Canyon Map

We started at the main trail head near The Ameal Moore Nature Center on Central Ave. According to the website, this is the only entrance with a dedicated parking lot. The nature center didn’t have any maps to hand out, so the attendant suggested we use Google Maps to navigate. We didn’t use any maps, but used one of the higher peaks as our landmark since the trails aren’t marked. There are also no bathrooms or drinking fountains out on the trails.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

The peak near the middle of the picture is the one we used as our landmark while hiking.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

This is the view from a rock formation near the Sycamore Highlands Park. We look forward to going back on a clear day.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

My wife enjoying the view.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Even though we didn’t go further into the park, we still found ourselves surrounded by nature.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

We even made some new friends.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

We hope to get on the other side of this ravine on a future trip.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

This is the view from the peak we used as our landmark.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

This is me standing at the top.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

Nice day. We will be back.

Looking for more hiking spots in and around Riverside? Check out our list of Places to Hike in Riverside and Beyond. #hikeriverside

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park
400 Central Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507
mysycamorecanyon.com

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