As the name implies, this site is located in a canyon. That typically means that it remains relatively lush and shaded year round compared to the rest of Southern California. It’s a relatively small 58 acre park, but has approximately 4 miles of hiking trails.
Suggestion: If you’re new to hiking and the outdoors, stick to the Stream Trail portion of the park. This section goes along the creek and is lush year round. There are small bridges to cross, natural history exhibits, a bird feeder area, and a museum.
If you want to challenge yourself a little, do the loop trail. Starting from the visitor center take the Heritage Trail, ascending toward the Roadrunner Ridge Trail. This portion of the trail is dry during the summer and has no shade, but provides gorgeous views of the lush canyon below. You can also access the Walnut Canyon Reservoir from this trail. Eventually, this trail descends back down into the canyon to the above mentioned Stream Trail, and ultimately back towards the visitor center.
It’s a great place for those that are new to hiking and families with small children. It’s free, but consider making a small donation at the trailhead.