Branch Out for Redwoods

Explore the redwood grove at Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia

Redwoods at Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia

Pines, birches, oaks, and … redwoods! Branch out to Arcadia’s Los Angeles County Arboretum for a simple 2.5-mile loop featuring surprise specimens (redwoods!) and local classics alike.

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After parking, be on the lookout for resident peacocks. Over 200 of these majestic birds call the Arboretum home (they’re also the symbol of Arcadia). Admission here is $15 per person, and masks are required throughout the grounds. Heading east, pass through a variety of gardens and a tropical greenhouse, until you reach the main paved path. Directly across from you is the serpent trail, where you’ll slither through the Australian gardens. When you reach the main loop road, take a left and go through the African gardens. Succa for yucca? At the T-shaped intersection, take a brief detour through Aloe Trail. 

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Continue west along the paved road (the giant Bauer Lawn and Fountains are on your left— invariably populated by peacocks and peahens surveying the grass) until you hit another T-intersection. Directly in front of you is the Prehistoric Garden, a shaded trail with cycads, ferns, and other big-leaf varieties that give off major Jurassic Park vibes. Also Jurassic? The Redwood grove of dawn and coastal varieties: a true rarity in Southern California. Soak in the grandiose on a shinrin-yoku walk (the Japanese art of forest bathing; the arboretum actually holds monthly classes) or sit on a bench under a redwood looking out at Baldwin Lake. When you’ve had your fill of big wonders, walk north on the path along the lake, meandering by a turtle pond and arboreal varieties.

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After the (work-in-progress) Korean garden, you’ll reach the popular waterfall. Head to the summit via the stairs to get incredible panoramic views of the garden framed by the hulking San Gabriels at Tallac Knoll. Keep on the dirt trail northeast and descend under indigenous favorite coast live oaks back at Baldwin Lake, named for “Lucky” Baldwin, the founder and first mayor of Arcadia, who at one time lived at the grounds.

Redwoods at Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia

You can explore around his Queen Anne Cottage home, used often in films of varying expositions (read up on park history at all the interpretive signs along the trails), and look for resident Canada geese, snowy egrets, ducks, and turtles. Make your way back to the park entrance at your leisure.

To get to the Los Angeles County Arboretum, take the I-210 to the Baldwin Ave. exit and head south. The park entrance and lot will be at the first light on your right; you can’t miss it! No dogs allowed. Pro tip: Even though there are maps posted throughout the grounds, download the park map on your smartphone so you don’t miss any arboreal attractions!

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