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Peters Canyon Regional Park

Peters Canyon Regional Park is a 340 acre park located in Southern California near the city of Orange. The park’s native plants are coastal sage scrub, riparian, freshwater marsh and grassland habitats. Also within the park is a 55-acre Upper Peters Canyon Reservoir which is home to many resident and migrating waterfowl that bird watchers can enjoy. Visitors also sometimes get glimpses of mule deer, bobcats, small packs of coyotes, opossums, raccoons, and an occasional mountain lion. 

Peter Canyons Regional Park has a few options of graded roads and trails that hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians all can share. Other amenities include picnic tables, Interpretive Programs Center, restrooms and a scenic overlook. Unlike other regional parks, Peters Canyon is not fully developed with playgrounds and entertainment. This is primarily a nature park with trails to explore.

Peters Canyon Regional Park

Originally known as Canyon of the Frogs (Canon de las Ranas), Peters Canyon was purchased by James Irvine in 1897 who leased the land out to local farmers. A 9-hole golf course was laid out by Santiago Golf Club in 1899. To support the agriculture industry, two reservoirs were built. The Upper completed in 1931 and the lower completed in 1940. Today, the lower reservoir is typically dry and serves as a flood control basin.

Peters Canyon was used as a training area for the US Army during World War II and was called Camp Commander. Mock battles were staged between Camp Commander and Camp Rathke, the Army post at Irvine Park just 2 miles away.

In 1992, the Irvine Company dedicated 340 acres of Peters Canyon to the County of Orange to be set aside as open space for the surrounding community to enjoy.

Peters Canyon Regional Park Details 

Address: 8548 E. Canyon View Ave., Orange, CA 92869
Park Hours: Sun – Sat: 7:00 AM – Sunset
Parking: $3 daily
Phone: 714-973-6611
Dogs: Permitted on-leash

What’s At Peters Canyon Regional Park?


There are several hiking opportunities throughout the park. The Peters Canyon Lake View and East Ridge loop is a great way to see the entire park. In just over 5 miles in length and rated moderate you will enjoy the many views. There are options to lengthen or shorten the route as well as simply trek around the lake. Please note that after a rain fall, trails may be closed up to three days to protect resources. 

Main trails:

  • Lake View Loop (north loop): 2.5 miles
  • East Ridge Loop: 5.7 miles
  • Peters Canyon Trail: 2 miles
  • East Ridge View Trail: 1.5 miles

Peters Canyon Trail Map

Dogs are permitted in the park on a leash
Equestrians permitted on all trails

Peters Canyon Regional Park Events 

Here are a few of the regularly scheduled events that take place at Peters Canyon. See the park calendar for dates, details, and other events.

Restoration Day in Peters Canyon

Restoration Days are dedicated to improving native habitat. Volunteers can pitch in to plant native shrubs, water vegetation, weed to remove invasive plant life, and more. Bring your gardening gloves and get a little dirty for a good cause.

Program and parking are free. Visit the Check-In Booth for a parking fee waiver.

Meteor Shower Viewing in Peters Canyon

Thanks to it’s location, Peters Canyon is a great spot for viewing the night sky. When meteor showers like the Perseids come to town, park rangers lead a program here that includes astronomy folklore, identifying constellations, spotting nocturnal wildlife, and more. Bring you own blankets and chairs to enjoy an evening under the stars.

This program is free but there is a Park Entrance Fee per vehicle.

Bird Walks in Peters Canyon

A naturalist will take you on a walk around the park in search of feathered friends since this is a great place for birdwatching. This program is for all levels of birders, but is geared for beginner to intermediates. Don’t forget your binoculars.

This program is free but there is a Park Entrance Fee per entry vehicle.

More Regional Parks In Orange County

O'Neill Regional Park
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Laguna Niguel Regional Park

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Kaitlin Musser
Kaitlin is a former ballerina who now travels around the country in an 18-foot converted school bus. Her and her tall-one husband have welcomed 34 sweet children into their home the past eleven years. Although they wouldn’t be a forever home for all of them they were able to adopt their daughter buckets and are legal guardians of their son monkey.