What’s in the park?

The Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park is a large 1,500 acre public open space park that is one of eight protected, core reserves.  Designated by the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency (RCHCA) for the Federally-listed endangered species Dipodomys stephensi, the Stephens’ kangaroo rat (SKR), the park serves as both a habitat and a recreational hub.

Visitors are welcome to explore, hike, bike, jog, bird watch, and generally enjoy the wonders of nature.  Generally, when visitors come into the nature center they are curious to know what animals they may run into while at the park.  The park is home to mammals, reptiles, insects, arachnids, birds, and plants- nearly 100 of which are classified as rare, sensitive, threatened, or endangered.

Observable park fauna can include:

  • Mammals: Agile kangaroo rat, Beechey’s ground squirrel, Cactus mouse, Common gray fox, Coyote, Deer mouse, Desert cottontail, Striped skunk, Valley pocket gopher, Virginia opossum
  • Reptiles: California legless lizard, Granite spiny lizard, Night snake, Red diamond rattlesnake, Side-blotched lizard, Southern alligator lizard
  • Insects: Anise swallowtail, Bordered plant bug, Cabbage white butterfly, Cloudless sulfur, Fiery skipper, Leafhopper assassin bug, Monarch butterfly, Red-shouldered stink bug, Sara or Pacific orangetip, Say stink bug, Vivid dancer, Western pygmy-blue, Western tiger swallowtail
  • Birds: American crow, American kestrel, American robin, Anna’s hummingbird, Bewick’s wren, Black phoebe, California quail, California thrasher, California towhee, Canyon wren, Cassin’s kingbird, Common raven, Common yellowthroat, Downy woodpecker, Ferruginous hawk, Hooded oriole, house finch, Killdeer, Lawrence’s goldfinch, Lesser goldfinch, Loggerhead shrike, Mourning dove, Northern flicker, Nuttall’s woodpecker, Orange-crowned warbler, Phainopepla, Rock wren, Say’s phoebe, Song sparrow, Swainson’s hawk, Turkey vulture, Violet-green swallow, Western bluebird, Western kingbird, White-crowned sparrow, White-throated swift, Willow flycatcher, Yellow-rumped warbler


Some visitors become alarmed or nervous when hearing about the various reptiles they may encounter in the park.  However, like most wildlife, if left alone the reptiles will leave you alone as well.  Here are some other helpful tips and rules for the park to make your visit fun, safe, and enjoyable.

  • Pay attention!  Rattlesnakes may or may not alert you to their presence.  If you hear a rattle snake, stop and walk away.  If you see a rattlesnake, avoid it.  By paying attention and leaving the snake alone, you can avoid any unwanted situations.
  • Keep children close by.  Keeping children close to you and teaching them to listen for the various wildlife will keep the fun going and will ensure safety.
  • Respect the wildlife.  The park is not just a great recreational spot for people.  It’s also the home of many species.  Please respect the wildlife and be aware that this is their home.
  • Share the paths.  Being courteous of other visitors is a great way to ensure that your visit as well as theirs is fun and safe.  We also ask that you be courteous of the various species that also use the paths.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and pick up after them.


Leave a Reply