Sycamore Park to Deer Canyon Preserve (Anaheim Hills)
- Location: Sycamore Park, 8101 Dream St., Anaheim Hills. From the 91 freeway, go south on Weir Canyon Road for 0.4 miles. Turn right on Monte Vista, go 0.2 miles and turn left onto Dream St. and park anywhere.
- Agency: City of Anaheim/County of Orange
- Distance: 4.4 miles
- Elevation gain: 650 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: All year (hot during the summer)
- USGS topo maps: Orange; Black Star Canyon
- More information: Sycamore Park here; Deer Canyon Preserve here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 4
This route combines several neighborhood trials in Anaheim Hills to create a hike that provides a good workout and a nice variety of scenery. It’s not quite as isolated as the nearby Oak Canyon or Weir Canyon parks, but it’s still well worth a visit if you’re in the area. It can also easily be shortened or lengthened as you see fit.
From the end of Dream Street, follow the fire road leading south along Sycamore Park’s east side. The trail makes a short but steep climb and then descends to Canyon Creek Road, which you will cross. There’s no stoplight or crosswalk, but traffic is likely to be light. (You can also turn left and go a quarter mile east to cross at the intersection with Serrano).
On the opposite side of Canyon Creek Road, pick up the Four Corners Trail, which heads right, following the street. In a quarter mile, you’ll cross Sunset Ridge, and the trail heads downhill, half a mile, to the end of Hollow Oak Road. This brings you to the 103-acre Deer Canyon Preserve; it’s also an alternate trailhead if you want to make a shorter trip.
Inside the park, head left (the right fork takes you to the northern end of the preserve, which has some trails but is less scenic). The paved trail heads south into Deer Canyon. At first, it might not seem like much of a nature experience, but the sounds of civilization disappear as you get farther into the park. There are a few side-trails that branch off and run parallel to the main one.
Soon, as the trail bends to the east, you pass by a picnic area. Shortly afterward, you’ll reach a fork. The paved road continues, eventually reaching a water tank, but for a more scenic trip, turn right onto the Anaheim Hills Trail, now a fire road. It makes a moderately steep ascent, soon splitting (the trails soon re-unite), and finally, 2.2 miles from Sycamore Park, you arrive at Canyon Rim Road, the turnaround point. Here, you can head north on Canyon Rim for a short distance to get a nice view of the Walnut Creek Reservoir.