Saturday, May 19, 2012

Alum Rock Park

View Alum Rock Park in a larger map

  • Hiking Trails
  • Biking
  • Equestrian Trails
  • Picnic Area
  • Play area for kids
  • Penitencia Creek
  • Deer, Horses, Sheep
  • Eagles, Other birds

More Info
  • $6 car parking fee; Free parking in the neighborhood
  • Free trail map at the main entrance
  • BBQ pits in picnic area
  • Restrooms in several places along the trail

Please Note:
The pictures might not be as commendable as they normally are because I took them. My husband, who normally takes the pictures decided to stay home to stick on to playing the much awaited Diablo.

Penitencia Creek Trail – North Rim Trail – Eagle Rock Trail

Length: ~4.5 miles; Elevation: 795 feet; Time: 2.5 hours; Difficulty: Easy

There are several ways to enter the Alum Rock Park. We parked the car in Penitencia Creek Road at the main entrance, which is at the west end of the park. We got a map from an attendant at the booth in the main entrance and began our hike at the Penitencia Creek Trail. The trail started with a steep ascend and immediately became leveled. This narrow, well-shaded trail that passes along the placid Penitencia Creek gave me a feeling of inward tranquility.

Penitencia Creek Trail

There were several picnic benches and restrooms along the trail. Soon, we reached the Playground Area next to the Visitor Center Ranger Office. The playground area has a lot of benches, chairs, BBQ pits, slides, swings, etc. We immediately flung our bags and hopped on to the swings to play to our glory. Who said only kids love playing in the swing? What is more fun than to swing high and jump on the ground?

Play Area

Exhausted after playing in the swing; we sat on one of the benches to eat sandwiches. We even noticed a family arranging their kid’s birthday party in the picnic area. Birthday celebrations in the woods and a play area nearby to keep the kids occupied? I thought that was a wise idea.

View from Eagle Rock Point

We took the North Rim Trail, which ascended along the meadows to soon connect with the trail that lead us to the Eagle Rock Point. The trail was not shaded at all; we drank water frequently to avoid getting dehydrated. The Eagle Rock Point, which is at an elevation of 795 feet, offers a panoramic view of the valley and a huge mansion next to it has horses and sheep in the farm.

Horse in a farm near Eagle Rock Point
We then took the trail back to the main entrance. On the way back, we noticed couple of deer at the creek and we immediately hushed to a pin drop silence to observe their activities. Within a few minutes, the deer hopped off into the woods.
Deer next to Penitencia Creek
It was definitely an easy, leisurely hike and I would certainly like to return to try out other trails or even possibly go biking.

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