Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Visitor Center

Modern-looking visitor center building with a wooden deck amid sage scrub under a blue sky

 

A new Visitor Center opened at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park in May of 2021.

The 2,600 square-foot center features a public space with reception, display areas for visitors to learn more about the park and its surroundings, and restrooms with plumbing. The center features interactive exhibits, many that are designed to be child friendly. A wrap-around deck with an observation extension encourages visitors to relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

Some indoor exhibits include:

  • A small cave loosely modeled after Dripping Cave
  • A full-scale diorama with taxidermy creatures, shrubs, trees, and grasses
  • A hand-painted mural depicting the park
  • Archaeological and paleontological displays
  • A detailed topographical map with buttons that light up points of interest and suggested hikes
  • A “Stewardship Wall”

Funded partially through a $1 million grant provided by the California Coastal Conservancy, OC Parks chose a custom modular building construction. This meant that most of the building construction could be done at a factory rather than disturbing the site for an extended period. The prefabricated buildings were constructed to minimize the impact on the site and to complement the natural surroundings. The park previously had no sewer or water service, and staff and visitors had to use portable restrooms. Now this area of the park has an interactive Visitor Center and modernized public restrooms.

The new Visitor Center provides nature lovers with an introduction to the park’s vast natural and cultural resources and offers a place for outdoor environmental stewardship and education.

Visitor Center Hours:

Monday – Friday:  9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.