Come and enjoy a wilderness experience only five minutes from downtown Monrovia. This refreshing recreational site provides a peaceful and quiet setting for your family, social or business gatherings. Let your imagination and your appreciation for nature be revitalized as you explore the 80 acres of trails and serene picnic areas.
This award-winning park operated by the City of Monrovia Community Services Department is situated in the San Gabriel Mountains, 10 minutes from the 210 Freeway at an elevation of 1,300 feet. Year-round springs feed a 30-foot waterfall and help provide a home for deer, bear, mountain lion and a myriad of other mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. Individuals, families, youth groups, classroom students, church gatherings and even business retreats can experience a change in attitude as they find solitude in nature.
Canyon Park is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The park is closed on Tuesdays. Weekend hours are from 7a.m. to 5p.m. Holiday closures are Christmas Day and the Fourth of July Weekend.
Canyon Park Trails Map
Living with Wildlife in Your Backyard
Monrovia Canyon Park and Conference Center is available for rent. Click here for more info.
Parking Fee is required (Sorry, this is a City Park - Adventure Passes are not applicable.)
- No alcohol
- No smoking
- No portable barbecues
- No firearms or weapons
- Dogs must be on a leash
- No collecting of natural items
Driving Directions to Canyon Park
Off the 210 Freeway, exit Myrtle Avenue, drive through Old Town Monrovia to Foothill Blvd, turn right, go two lights to Canyon Blvd, turn left, drive through residential area for about 1 mile staying to the right, turn right into Canyon Park at the 3-foot-tall sign.
The Nature Center contains displays of local flora and wildlife indigenous to Canyon Park. Learn about the early history of the Canyon residents, and the present day natural hazards in visiting a wilderness environment.
Fireman's Flat - Monrovia Canyon Park has several areas to enjoy a peaceful picnic. Fireman's Flat is a 2,000 sq. ft. picnic area dedicated to the firefighters of our community. This area has six picnic tables and four barbecues. The area is available to rent for private groups such as family parties, reunions, and small weddings. Prices vary with non-profit verification. Sample price for a family reunion would be $50 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an additional $50 deposit. If Fireman's Flat is not reserved, the area is open on a first come, first served basis, as is the rest of the park.
Mal Packer Mesa - Located behind the Monrovia Canyon Park Nature Center is Mal Packer Mesa. This is a large picnic area complete with eight picnic table and three barbecues. This area is available first come, first served.
Emerson's Flat - This is a small, quaint picnic area just above the Cabin Conference Center parking lot. It is a perfect spot for a small group and has three picnic tables, one barbecue, and two long benches for seating. The very short trail leading to the Three Graves is at this location.
Additional Picnic Areas - There is a picnic table by the Cabin Conference Center parking lot, which is situated under a large oak tree and two picnic tables by the bus parking area in the middle parking lot, which overlooks the creek.
If the Cabin is not reserved, the public is welcome to use the two picnic tables and two barbecues on the lawn area below the Cabin. All picnic areas have trashcans. Visitors who would like to picnic on the trail or find a quiet place along the creek may do so as long as they pack out their trash. There is no barbecuing on the trails near the creek.
Monrovia Canyon Park offers environmental education tours to school classes, youth organizations, clubs, and businesses. Among the interpretive programs offered are General Orientation to Canyon Park, Plant and Animal Adaptations, Mountain Watershed and guided hikes. Suggested group size is 30 people or less. Approximate cost is $90. Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling the Nature Center office at (626) 256-8282.
On high ground, west of the picnic area at Emerson Flats, is the gravestone which marks the burial place of three of the four children of Hibbard and Polly Rankins. The members of this family were the first non-native settlers in Monrovia Canyon. The oldest son, Albert, age 19, worked in the Los Angeles area as a blacksmith's apprentice. While home in the canyon in 1877, he was stricken ill with typhoid fever. Despite the efforts of a young doctor residing in the foothills somewhere near Duarte, Albert and his two younger sisters, Polly, 16, and Estelle, 13, were claimed by death within a few weeks.
Volunteering at Canyon Park
Have you always wanted to be a park ranger sharing your love of nature with others? Here is your chance to fulfill your dreams! Training will be provided to help you become a volunteer, who will foster an appreciation, understanding and respect for nature for those visitors who come to Monrovia Canyon Park.
The benefit package included children's smiles and laughter, hikers who appreciate your clearing of trails, city folks whose facial expression relax and attitude change as they find a respite from the hurried world below.
Monrovia Canyon Park is an 80-acre wildness park facility. The park was built originally in 1911 by community volunteers, and contains a Nature Center, trails to a 30-foot waterfall, a Cabin/Conference Center, overnight reserved group camping, and native plant gardens. Volunteer tasks can vary from environmental education assistant, trail maintenance, nature center host, trail/bike/horse patrol, garden maintenance, reptile keeper, historian, photographer, newsletter reporter, project research, administrative assistant, etc.
Contact the Nature Center at 626-256-8282 for more information and an application.
Visitors to Monrovia Canyon Park should respect and avoid these members of the wilderness community. Rattlesnakes - The Southern Pacific Rattlesnake is usually grayish brown with dark blotches on its back. The dark skin pattern is broken up by narrow, yellowish, diamond shaped lines. Its tail will rattle as an alarm as it gets older. It will not attack, but if disturbed or cornered, it will defend itself. It is an important member of the natural community eating rodents, lizards, toads, and insects. Snakes come out of hibernation when temperatures reach about 70 degrees.
What to do if you encounter a snake:
• Locate the snake.
• Move away slowly
• Report sighting to Canyon Park Staff
• If bitten, stay calm, seek medical attention immediately
Leaves of three, let it be
It's no joke it's poison oak!
This very common plant with leaflets in groups of three can appear as a vine, bush or spindly plant. Leaf color can vary from green to yellow and red. The leaves and even the bare stems found in wintertime contain an oil, which can irritate human skin. Petting a contaminated dog can transfer the oils to a human. An itchy rash lasts approximately for two weeks.
What do you do if you touch Poison Oak?
* Wash the area with soap and water at the first opportunity
* Check your pharmacy or doctor for medications
Ticks - This common year-round blood feeding bug is about an 1/8 of an inch or smaller in size with eight legs. Ticks do not fly, jump, or drop from trees. They climb on the tips of vegetation along trails or paths, and wait for an animal or human to brush up against them so they can attach themselves. A very low percentage of ticks may carry Lyme disease.
What do you do if you are exposed to ticks?
- Do a Tick Check. Exam yourself and others in your group for any hitch-hiking ticks. Especially, check socks, pants, and neck areas.
- If a tick is attached, place fine-point tweezers around the tick's mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible, and gently pull the tick out. Wash area thoroughly.
- Call your doctor regarding potential treatment for tick bites.