West Davis Pond

The pond is a storm water retention basin in the city of Davis, CA, with varying levels of water depending on rainfall.  Although the pond itself is surrounded by fencing, you can see the pond through the fence, and all along one side of it is a greenbelt with paved walkways through a residential area.  There is also a butterfly garden maintain by volunteers that sports different flowers depending on the season. 

Easy to Locate? Yes
Pet Friendly? Yes. Dogs MUST be on a leash.
Easy to Walk? Yes. Paved walkways and well-maintained trails. Zero to very little elevation gain.
Is there a Fee? No.
Are there Restrooms? Not really. You can try accessing the public restrooms in the nearby UC medical clinic, but access may be limited.
Is there Accessible Parking? Sort of. You need to park on the street.
Other Notes: The butterfly garden adjacent to the pond is a project spearheaded and maintained by Gene Trapp and JoEllen Ryan. If you’d like to volunteer to work on the garden, contact Gene at grtrapp@comcast.net.

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

Check out the bee-condos along the fencing for mason- and leaf-cutter bee homes. There are also some benches and viewing platforms that let you see a bit more of the basin. 

The paved trail is shaded by large trees for most of the way, so it makes for a pleasant walk in the summer months. Remember, that this is a RESIDENTIAL AREA, so you’re required to keep noise to a minimum at all times.

From the park on Isle Royale Lane, there is a path extending along the entire eastern side of the ponds. The west and north sides are not accessible. Egrets and various species of ducks are usually here. Upon occasion, in winter, hooded mergansers have been seen. One of the ponds’ greatest claims to fame among birders is that an eastern phoebe was found here in the winter of 1993, for a first record for the county. The Yolo Audubon Society is a co-sponsor of these ponds.

Gene Trapp and JoEllen Ryan, who crafted and maintain the butterfly garden at the pond also lead birding walks there once a month. For more information contact the Friends of the West Pond group or see their Facebook page.

How to Get There:

From Sacramento:

  • Take Highway 80 West to the city of Davis
  • Highway will merge into Highway 113
  • Take Exit 29 from Highway 113 onto West Covell Blvd.
  • Turn LEFT onto West Covell
  • Take West Covell to Denali Road
  • Turn LEFT onto Denali
  • Then turn RIGHT onto Isle Royale Lane
  • Drive around the bed to a small park with a manicured lawn and white gazebo
  • Park anywhere along the street here, but be careful not to block anyone’s driveway. Cross the small park on foot to the paved trail that will lead you to the pond and butterfly garden.

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist