Falcon Ridge Ranch (San Dimas)
- Location: San Dimas Canyon Nature Center, 1628 Sycamore Canyon Road, San Dimas. From points east, take the 210 Freeway to the Foothill exit. Turn right on Foothill Blvd. and go 0.4 miles to San Dimas Canyon Road. Turn right and go 0.3 miles and bear left on Sycamore Canyon Road. From the west, take the 210 Freeway take the San Dimas Avenue exit. Turn left and go 0.4 miles to Foothill Blvd. Turn right and go 0.8 miles to San Dimas Canyon Road. Turn left and follow San Dimas Canyon Rd. for 0.3 miles and bear left on Sycamore Canyon Road. The nature center will be on the right in 0.3 miles.
- Agency: San Dimas Canyon Nature Center; Falcon Ridge Ranch
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: 300 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year round (hot during the summer)
- USGS topo map: Glendora
- Recommended gear: Insect Repellent
- More information: Falcon Ridge Ranch Facebook page here
- Rating: 4
Perched in the San Gabriel Foothills high above San Dimas and Glendora, Falcon Ridge Ranch is a facility that raises ducks and quails and releases them into the wild. The ranch can be reached by a short hike from the San Dimas Canyon Nature Center. While some hikers may be turned off by most of the route being on paved roads, odds are you won’t see much traffic; the ranch is open only to service vehicles. The hike offers some nice views of the San Gabriel Valley and can be a nice place to escape urban life without having to drive into the mountains. Though it’s open to the public, including dogs, Falcon Ridge Ranch is private property, so act accordingly.
From the nature center, head uphill on Sycamore Canyon Road, passing by some stables. At 0.3 miles, bear left and pass through the gate onto a private service road (listed as both Wildwood Motorway and Sycamore Canyon Road on various maps and websites). After 0.1 miles, bear left onto a signed but unnamed trail. (You can continue up the service road to get to the same point, but the single-track is more interesting.)
The trail dips into the upper reaches of San Dimas Canyon, almost immediately reaching a fork. The left branch leads 0.1 miles to the picnic area at the base of the Poison Oak Trail, part of the San Dimas Canyon Loop (an easy way to extend this hike if you have time). To get to Falcon Ridge Ranch however turn right and follow the trail for a pleasant 0.2 miles through oaks and a few sycamores. You return to the road just as it makes a hairpin turn to the left, climbing south along the west canyon wall. You enter the Falcon Ridge Ranch property and pass by a vista point with a bench.
The road levels out and bends to the west, passing by a few stables and a small pond before unceremoniously ending at a metal fence, one mile from the nature center. A nice view of the San Gabriel Valley and the L.A. Basin serves as a consolation prize for not being able to go further.
As an alternative to retracing your steps back to the Nature Center, you can make the hike into a loop by turning right on the Gordy Motorway and following it a short distance to the Poison Oak Trail. Descend the Poison Oak Trail to the picnic area, turn left and rejoin the single-track trail just before it reconnects with the paved road.
Text and photography copyright 2015 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.