Week 209: Debs Park

June 28, 2020

Summit Ridge, Valley View, City View Trails, 3.5 miles

A new perspective on an old acquaintance. Barbara and I first visited Debs Park three years ago, following Charles Fleming's Secret Stairs Hike #26. Today we used John McKinney's HIKE Los Angeles version, entering from the Audubon Center entrance on Avenue 52. Debs Park in Montecito Heights, 5 miles NE of DTLA, is an open space nature reserve, part of the Arroyo Seco Watershed. Originally planned for residential use in the 1920s, the City of LA acquired the land in 1949 to develop a park that finally came to fruition as Rose Hill Park in 1963. Five years later, the city leased the land to LA County to develop a regional park and, in 1994, it bounced back to the city and was renamed Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in recognition of the former 1958-1974 County Supervisor (not to be confused with Eugene Debs, the well-known early 20th-century socialist). Whatever you call it, Debs Park is a Mid-City charmer with views, depending on where you're standing, of the LA basin, DTLA, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains, and Puente Hills. I counted fourteen different trails on the Debs Park website map but, unfortunately, there are no trail markers to guide you so you better know where you're going or take a map. The trails sloped at an angle challenging enough to slow us down but not bad enough to exhaust us. Starting at the Audubon entrance on Avenue 52, we hiked a small dirt trail to Scrub Jay Trail bordered by the most amazing sight: tons of white snails clinging to branches of dry scrub. At the 3-way intersection, we turned right onto Valley View Trail, detouring slightly for outlooks, and pausing at the gazebo and clear, stunning views of the city framed by an overcast sky. Our destination, Peanut Lake, is still as charming as we remembered. Curious turtles peeking out of the water as we circled the lake and its stair-step cascades. On our way out we got throaty "good-bye" from a bullfrog before we took the rock-lined path down to City View Trail for our journey back with one last stunning view of the city. Because the trails provide no tree cover, Debs Park is a perfect hike for an overcast day. No lizards, one bunny, but loads of happy dogs and hikers as company. A nature retreat in the center of the city. You can't beat that. 





You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Total Pageviews