Now part of the OC Parks’ Irvine Ranch Open Space, Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park is a hidden gem located in Anaheim. With lush vegetation and stunning rock formations, this park is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and coyotes.
Note that exploration at Gypsum Canyon wilderness Park is only available during special access days and scheduled programs. See available access dates here.
Having over 6 miles of trails for visitors to explore makes for a perfect morning trip. Currently the park is only open by registration on certain days, but The registration process is quick and easy, and visitors are sure to have a great time exploring Gypsum Canyon Park.
In this article, we will take a look at everything you should know before going to Gypsum Canyon and what you should do to make the most of your experience there.
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park Details
Address: 390 South Gypsum Canyon Road, Anaheim, CA 92887
Park Hours: 8:00AM-2:00PM on access days only, unless booked for a specific hike
Parking: Free parking
Restrooms: Available at parking area
Dogs: not allowed
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park Trail Map
Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park History
While Gypsum Wilderness has only been open as a designated public access area since late 2023, the beautiful scenery has a deep history of its own. One of the most unique features of the park is the stunning rock formations that are all around.
These rock formations are believed to be 16-20 million years old and have been created by years of erosion and weathering. They are an impressive sight, with their various shapes and sizes. The rocks also provide a unique habitat for local wildlife that you’re bound to see on the trail. Take in views of the rock formations and the surrounding wilderness area by hiking to the parks two scenic overlooks on GC Trail 1.
What’s At Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park
Whether you’re an equestrian or a hiker, Gypsum Canyon is the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure. Besides hiking and horseback riding trails, the park also offers wildlife viewing, bird watching, and photography opportunities. Like Saddleback Wilderness Park, a lot of these trails interconnect with one another, so you can explore the entire area in one day.
Trails At Gypsum Canyon
This half-mile trail is one of the three easy trails located at Gypsum Canyon. Oven Canyon Road is open to hikers, bikers, and horses and connects to GC Trail 1. The trail features views of the western side of Gypsum Canyon, as well as the opportunity to observe the stunning wildlife.
Second on the list of easy trails is Gypsum Canyon Road. This trail is just over a mile and explores the entire east side of Gypsum Canyon. This trail is perfect for hiking, horseback, and biking and is a great way to view the awe-inspiring scenery of the Gypsum Canyon.
Moving on to a moderate trail, GC Trail 1 is a continuation of where the Oven Canyon Road trail ends. The trail passes by two scenic outlooks where you can rest and enjoy the stunning rock formations around you. This trail accommodates bikers, hikers, and horseback riders.
GC Trail 2 connects to GC Trail 1 from one of the scenic outlook points, and allows you to continue around the southern end of Gypsum Canyon. The trail difficulty is listed as moderate, however it also connects to the length of the Gypsum Canyon Road trail, so we recommend it for those really wanting to get a workout.
Going back to an easy trail, GC Trail 3 loops in between the Gypsum Canyon Road trail and GC Trail 4. This is a great place to loop around before heading back to your car when going along Gypsum Canyon Road.
Moving to biker and hiker only trails, GC Trail 4 is the connection between the west and east side of the trails. This trail offers stunning views and is perfect for a leisurely stroll or mountain bike adventure. It is well-maintained, rated moderate, and easy to follow.
GC Trail 5
Last on the trails is GC Trail 5, another walking and biking trail that starts a bit closer to the parking lot. This trail is perfect for those who want to get closer to the scenic outlook, but want to avoid horseback riders on the trail.
There are two scenic viewpoints at Gypsum Canyon Wilderness Park, these outlooks offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. It’s a great place to relax and take in the scenery in the middle of your hike. The outlooks are located in close proximity to one another but offer completely unique views.
The parking lot of Gypsum Canyon Wilderness park has a few amenities available. There is a restroom located in the parking lot, as well as picnic tables and benches.
The picnic tables offer a great opportunity to sit and eat before a long hike, or to cool down after exploring everything the park has to offer.
As of writing this article, the park is only open to visit with pre-registration on either one of their guided programs, or one of the Wilderness Access Days. Visitors should check the website for up-to-date information on when the park is open and registration requirements.
Visitors should also bring plenty of water and sunscreen when visiting the park. It is important to take a close look at the weather and dress appropriately. We also recommend bringing along snacks and a camera to make the most of your day on the trail.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! Make sure to leave the park in the same condition you found it, and to follow all park rules and regulations. Enjoy the beautiful nature around you and stay safe!
|Irvine Ranch Open Space Preserve
|Orange County Wilderness Preserves
|Black Star Canyon Wilderness Park
|Saddleback Wilderness Park
|Nature Centers In Orange County
|Best Regional Parks In OC
Morgan Mulac is a freelance writer who has spent years on the road as a nomad and now has settled back in California with her family. Some of her favorite spots to travel to in California are in Orange County and the many beaches along the coast. She’s an avid writer about her journeys and enjoys sharing the beauty California has to offer.