Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea is ridiculously fun. FOUR playgrounds lie in sprinting distance of one another – with views of a small lake. Bring a picnic and plan to stay all day for nature hikes and wildlife viewing. Kudos to Orange County for bringing the best in playgrounds to its kids.
Directions to Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea: We took the 57 Freeway exiting at Lambert. If you’re traveling from the coast – it’s a right turn onto Lambert from the offramp (away from Brea Mall). After crossing Valencia Ave, Lambert turns into Carbon Canyon Road. The park entrance is on your right. After you pass the booth, turn to your left to park closest to the playgrounds. [Address: 4442 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea] MAP TO CARBON CANYON REGIONAL PARK IN BREA
Recommended by: Marisa and Marcy
- FOUR amazing playgrounds all within sight of each other. Gives the older kids freedom to explore and the younger kids some options for finding the perfect play experience.
- A rainbow of colors hit me the first time I visited. There’s the massive red structure with triple slides; the smaller blue structure with ride-on spring toys and baby swings; the yellow and red structure with bridges/climbing experiences/stand-alone slide; and finally, the green structure with a funky gray rock wall to navigate.
- There’s a tire swing, teeter-totter, yellow chain climber, and big kid swings near the largest red structure.
- Take an easy stroll around the lake and do some exploring.
- Save time to visit the Butterfly Garden and go for a hike on the trails past the tennis courts. Consult with a ranger for more information.
- You can take a self-guided hike or take advantage of guided hikes to the Redwood Grove that are usually offered the first weekend of the month. Consult the OCParks.com official calendar.
- We’ve seen plenty of woodpeckers working the oak trees and see how many waterfowl you can spot on the lake. See any evidence of Canadian Geese?
- Hot during the summer (although lots of shade trees)
- Very popular park – so pretty busy on weekends. Plan ahead by using the portal for reserving a shelter for birthday parties or other gathering.
- Parking in dedicated lot
- Fee for parking $3 on weekdays, $5 on weekends, and more on major holidays (highly recommend buying a annual day use pass to OC Parks)
- Sand and recycled rubber play surfaces
- Small restroom with 2 stalls nearest to furthest-from-entrance playgrounds (the yellow/red one and green one by picnic area)
- If you could drive straight ahead into the park from the entrance booth, you’d find a much larger and newer bank of restrooms slightly to the right. Since that’s not possible, on foot it’s closest to the largest red structure (but a bit of a walk)
- Drinking fountains by this larger bathroom
- Shade everywhere from large sycamores, pines, and willows
- Amazing location for birthday parties and large groups
- Official OCParks website for Carbon Canyon Regional Park
- Official site for park reservations
- Find more nearby parks in my North OC Parks Index
Originally published in May 2009.