Tucked into a shallow canyon between two residential streets, Shepherd Canyon is an example of how open space and suburbs can co-exist, offering local residents a taste of nature. East Shepherd Canyon is one of several trails that lace the neighborhood.
From Remora St., turn right on Santo Road and follow it a short distance to the East Shepherd Canyon sign. Follow the trail into the canyon, which is dominated by eucalyptus trees, with a few sycamores, willows and even some prickly pear in the mix. After a quarter mile, bear right as the trail merges with another route. Continue east, crossing a footbridge and passing through a clearing with a couple of benches.
You enter the open, walking past hills dotted with chaparral wildflowers in the spring. Soon you reach Dishwater Pond, the approximate halfway point, where you may be able to spot a mallard or two in the cat tails.
Past the pond, the trail splits briefly, rejoins and continues another half mile, mostly under the shade of the eucalypti, before reaching a junction. Bear right and follow the last leg of the trail as it makes a moderate ascent to its ending at Via Valarta, 1.4 miles from the start. You can return either by retracing your steps through the canyon or using residential streets.
Text and photography copyright 2016 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.