The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail:
Preserving and Protecting a Natural Treasure

​This will highlight the history and potential of the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail, a piece of land that is owned by the Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful (CERB). We are currently seeking partnerships with land trusts, donors and/or public agencies to permanently protect, improve and maintain the site as publicly accessible open space, expanding programs to benefit residents from the surrounding community and the region. This document provides a short description of the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail’s history and CERB’s vision for the future. This includes maps and other technical details.

The trail and surrounding land hereto referred to as the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail, is fairly steep on its southern section with 7 switchbacks climbing under the shadow of the namesake of the area, the Eagle Rock; it then follows a gentler sloping bend on the northern side with additional switchbacks and slower passes over ridges and through ravines. The peak of the trail provides views of the Verdugo Hills and much of the LA basin, downtown LA and on clear days the Pacific Ocean. The trail is an 8/10 mile loop and joins at the bottom of the hill, which in turn ties into a Los Angeles public park space, Richard Alatorre Park, all of which is 2 blocks from a larger public outdoor space, Eagle Rock Recreational Park and Center. An area utilized by a multitude of the citizenry with events of all shapes and sizes all throughout the year.

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail
 

History

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail started as a beautiful vision. CERB, guided by one of its founding members, John Stillion, acquired the land in 2006-2007 to save a pristine and fairly large piece of land next to the iconic Eagle Rock from being developed. The land was purchased from one of the residents living on Eagle Rock View Drive. Once CERB gained possession of the land, the organization started planning to make it into a destination for the community of Eagle Rock and surrounding neighborhoods. Committed members of CERB cleaned up the property. A stunning, looping, one-mile trail was completed over a year by a group of volunteers under the guidance of Master Trail Builder Peter Schaller, and with the help of Boy-scout Troop 188. The trail allows hikers to reach the top of the property.

CERB has maintained the trail over the years with the help of one of the trail builders, Harry Chamberlain. It has secured brush clearance help to ensure the least possible fire hazard. 

The Site

The Eagle Rock Trail site owned by CERB is 4-1⁄2 acres located immediately to the North of the Eagle Rock which gives our community its name. The Eagle Rock is a large monolith and consists of a massive granite boulder on which you see the imprint of what looks like an eagle in full flight. A Native American legend is attached to this icon.

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail is a .8 mile, looping trail that is open to the public and offers impressive views. The trail is situated on a steep hill traversed by a canyon and attached to the rolling hills of Pasadena to the East and accessed through Altorre Park - a small recreational park created in 1999. It is unique in that it is easily accessible from public transportation and a natural resource near Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale.

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail is a natural setting, a buffer space between the residential community of Eagle Rock and the Verdugo foothills, where the concrete infrastructure of freeways and street grid transitions to hillside open space. The site is an example of California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion. It offers striking specimens of beloved native plants that have become favorites in our local nurseries. It is a joy to be able to see them in their natural habitat and be privy to their growth and blooming cycles. Visitors can find several species of oaks, lemonade berry bush, black sage, 3 different California fuchsias and even our native honeysuckle. Hawks, swallows and many native species can be seen flying overhead making the area their home. The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail is open for the community to enjoy from sunrise to sunset.

CERB Vision

CERB is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to beautifying Eagle Rock and preserving the trail as open space and a wildlife corridor . Our values are deeply rooted in sustainable landscaping, the preservation of natural places and accessibility for everyone. One of the tenets of our mission is to guide our efforts towards collaborating with and involving as many local residents, businesses and organizations as possible.

John Stillion and the CERB board-members envision the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail land to be a gift to the community and a public symbol for Eagle Rock. The intention, to protect four and half acres of untouched nature adjacent to the Rock as a site for teaching the community about the beauty and sustainability of a drought tolerant landscape that is compatible with our Southern California climate. The trail is to become a friendly destination for people seeking to experience the environment and connect with their neighbors.

Building the trail ensured visitors could be immersed in nature and enjoy the unique vistas. It was meant to offer an opportunity to be close to nature as well as an open space to encourage the community to engage in healthful physical activity. It is free of charge and open to the general public. CERB has regularly involved local organizations and volunteers in the upkeep and improvement of the site.

CERB Goals

•A Botanical Garden at the top of the trail, which could showcase native species not endemic to this particular area. Species would showcase the magnificent diversity of California s plant community and could include, white sage, Cleveland sage and other salvias, ceanothus sp., our Western Redbud, woolly blue curls, penstemon sp., encelias, manzanitas, etc.

•Better and more educational signage, including name tags for plants, on the trail and in the Botanical Garden.

•Including our landmark, the Eagle Rock in all programming in an effort to make the Rock a more well-known destination, as it gets tied into the Trail.

•The study of our Native American heritage in the area, to be included into the program

•Educational programming with local schools and Occidental College 

•Guided tours of native flora

•Community events focused on the Eagle Rock, native landscaping, open space, sustainability and health

•Partnerships with local and other organizations for funding, for the creation of programs and the creation of stronger bonds within the community at large.

The Eagle Rock Canyon Trail has the potential to be a major contribution to the neighborhood's identity by providing a space for nature appreciation, education and recreation. Permanently protecting the site can add to the region's network of wild spaces, natural habitat, and open space.

CERB is interested in partnering with:

  1. Donors who value nature conservation and programming to allow LA's diverse community to experience open space and learn about the region's plant communities and natural landscaping. Grants or gifts to CERB would allow the organization to implement its vision for the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail.

  2. Land Trusts with experience in acquiring and programming open space in Southern California. CERB stands ready to collaborate with a land trust to ensure permanent preservation and community access to the land, as well as expanded educational activities.

  3. Local governments interested in expanding and protecting park and open space in Northeast Los Angeles and surrounding communities.

  4. Volunteer groups and individuals wishing to be involved in preserving and protecting this natural open space and habitat. 

CERB is open to a range of funding, land transfers and/or partnership opportunities to permanently preserve and improve the Eagle Rock trail. We view the Trail as a hidden gem and look forward to helping make it more visible, accessible to the region's diverse populations, and a hub for learning about nature and sustainable landscaping. Contact us to discuss potential collaborations!