Phoenix Park

The park has a paved wheel-chair accessible trail that goes around one side of it, 1½ miles long, encompassing six different baseball diamonds of varying sizes (from t-ball to the majors), a picnic area, access to a small community garden, and a dog park. On the other side of the park are dirt footpaths that meander around a series of vernal pools and features some very large Blue Oak trees.

  • Easy to Locate? Yes
  • Pet Friendly? Yes. Keep your dog on a leash. There is also a designated off-leash dog park nearby. They have three separated areas: one for small dogs, one for large dogs, and one for dogs who are shy, aggressive, disabled, or need a little alone time.
  • Easy to Walk? Yes.
  • Is there a Fee? No
  • Are there Restrooms? Yes.
  • Is there Accessible Parking? Yes.
  • Other Notes: The park includes its own vernal pools which are easily accessible and sport interesting flowers in the spring when the pools have some water in them.

See my FLICKR account for more albums of photos taken at this location .

From the park brochure: “…Vernal pools are temporary wetlands. They fill during winter rains and then dry down in the late spring. The vernal pool annual cycle actually consists of three distinct stages: an aquatic stage, a waterlogged terrestrial stage, and a drought stage. The cycle of flood and drought create extreme conditions for the plants and animals that live in vernal pools. Because of that, many of the inhabitants of vernal pools can live nowhere else!

“The physical conditions that give rise to vernal pools at Phoenix Park include a hardpan layer below the soil surface. This hardpan of soil bound together by a cement of iron oxide and silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2) to form a dense, nearly solid mass that prevents rainwater from percolating downward. Rain water perches above the hardpan and becomes evident as vernal pools where there are depressions in the landscape…”

How to Get There:

From Sacramento:
• Take Highway 50 East
• Take EXIT 21 for Hazel Avenue
• Turn LEFT onto Hazel
• Take Hazel to Sunset Blvd.
• Turn RIGHT onto Sunset
• Turn RIGHT at Runway Drive
• Turn LEFT at Maya Street
• The park will be on the LEFT

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist