Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center
10700 Escondido Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA, USA
camping, outdoor-adventures, road-trip, hike
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Vasquez Rocks Natural Area & Nature Center looks as if you stepped right onto the set of Lion King!!!
This is a desert wonderland, with massive rock formations. It is located in Santa Clarita, just north of Los Angeles in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, the perfect day trip idea for families. Vasquez Rocks is a 932-acre park full of hikes, nature trails and boulders to climb. Gate for the free parking lots are open every day from 8:00 am-7:00 pm, however, you can park on the street and still walk into the park 24/7 (insider tip). They have portable restrooms now in a few places around the park since the Nature Center is still closed due to COVID restrictions.
We absolutely love this park and have been frequent visitors to it for years. They have all levels of hikes & trails, perfect for families. Whether you are looking for a hike with teenagers or a nature trail with littles, they have it. All trails are well maintained and clearly marked. If you aren't up for trails, hikes or bouldering, you can also picnic and take in the views! They have unbelievable large rock formations, literally straight out of a movie (Star Trek being one of the most popular movies filmed here!).
They recently upgraded their Nature Center, but it is closed at this time due to COVID. We are hopeful it will open back up soon. You can reserve campgrounds by calling their office, but be careful, the desert does get cold at night, be prepared.
This park is popular for family photoshoots, be prepared for more visitors during "golden hour." We personally visit either first thing in the morning or early afternoon, depending on the season to avoid harsh sun & heat hours. There is minimal shade at this park, water, sunhats and sunscreen are a MUST - especially during the summer months.
***COVID-19 Update - Trails are now open with strict guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including face coverings and physical distancing of 6 feet. Nature centers remain temporarily closed. For complete guidelines, please see our COVID-19 Update.