We are excited to announce that the Upper section of Harmon Canyon will partially reopen starting November 28, 2023.
What guides Harmon Canyon Preserve closures? LEARN MORE
Harmon Canyon Preserve, established in 2020, is Ventura's first large-scale free access nature preserve. At 2,100 acres, visitors enjoy hills and canyons that feature oak groves, stream crossings, and breathtaking views of Southern California mountain ranges, coastlines, and Channel Islands National Park. This spectacular recreation destination offers miles of trails for hiking, biking, running, and exploring. Leashed dogs are allowed in Harmon Canyon Preserve till the 1.5-mile mark on Harmon Canyon Road.
Preserve Hours, Location, & Parking
Harmon Canyon Preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk. VLT volunteers open the gate at dawn and close the date at dusk, generally 30 minutes after sunset.
Harmon Canyon Preserve is located at 7511 Foothill Road (map).
PLEASE NOTE when approaching Harmon Canyon Preserve eastbound on Foothill Road, there is NO LEFT TURN ONTO MCVITTIE PLACE. The intersection is signed with three "No left turn" signs so please follow the law and help us maintain a safe environment in this area. Ventura Land Trust is working with the City of Ventura and the Ventura Police Department to ensure that all traffic laws are enforced in this area.
Free parking is available at the preserve trailhead off of McVittie Place. Overflow parking is available on Kimball Road. NO additional parking is available at Ventura Missionary Church. Please note that the preserve parking lot is often full on weekends. Leave extra time in your visit for parking.
STREAM ETIQUETTE AT HARMON CANYON PRESERVE
You've heard of trail etiquette, but what about stream etiquette, and why is it so important at Harmon Canyon Preserve?
It is very unusual for the creek in Harmon Canyon to flow all winter, and that makes this a very special year. It is a pivotal time for resident aquatic organisms to complete their life cycle.
Aquatic insects, amphibians, and microorganisms that are foundational to the biodiversity of this riparian system, as well as seedlings that can only germinate and establish in the wettest of years, are crushed when people walk in the creek. Many of these life forms are too small to notice, but the impact is real.
An estimated 175,000 visitors came to Harmon Canyon Preserve in 2022. Because of this significant human presence, we must keep in mind that every footstep off-trail and into the creek channel has an impact on the plants and animals of the Preserve. Our cumulative impact could love a place like Harmon to death, if we aren't careful.
Conservation is VLT's top priority, and too much human presence in the creek corridor is a reason we may need to temporarily close the Preserve in order to protect this fragile and ephemeral resource.
Please help us keep the Preserve and all its wonders open to the community by crossing gently and admiring the flowing water from Harmon's road and trails. Thank you for your help!
Interested in hosting a commercial event at Harmon Canyon? Approval is required. Contact [email protected] no less than 30 days ahead of your event for more information.
See how Harmon Canyon compares to other Ventura parks: