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  • Writer's pictureTom Keene

Orange County Area Engagement Location - Carbon Canyon Regional Park and Redwood Grove, Brea

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Los Angeles and Brea's Top 10 Engagement Locations - An affordable photography location

Did you know there is a redwood forest in Southern California? And of all places it is in Brea's Carbon Canyon Regional Park. Sure it is only a few acres, but it allows for a very comforting place to take your engagement photos and other life events. This grove is relatively young when it comes to redwood trees, that can live up to a couple thousand years. The park is also home to the base of a dam which can provide a stark contrast to the wilderness feel of the redwoods and the path that takes you there. Park hours are based on the season. Spring-Summer 7am to 9pm. Fall-Winter 7am to 6pm. Here is a great map of the park. MAP

When you arrive you will pay a fee to enter the park. As of late it is $5-$7 per car. The easiest way to get there from this entrance is to go right after paying and head to the end of the gravel road, parking lot A, on the map it is the one closest to the volleyball courts. From there you will walk about 1/2 miles to the forest. There are a few places to take photos on the way there depending on the season or on the way back depending on your choice of backgrounds and it can have a totally different look depending on the season. If you go left and take it to the end, you can get a more dystopian look to the photos and will add around another 1/4 mile or more to the walk to get to the grove.

As this is not a state property as far as I can tell there is no known permit requirement to shoot here. I have never seen a sign about it not have I ever been approached to show one.

Above: Aaron was expecting to take new photos celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary. He has no idea that Gianni was expecting their first child. September 2018. See their shoot here. This was taken along the "long" route to the redwood grove. See other shoots from their wedding to seasonal family photos of this family here.

As happens often, after one person finds a great place other couples want to rush there. Two months after Aaron and Gianni's reveal shoot, Vanessa and Josh requested the location. We also took sometime walking around the other part of the park.

In March of 2019, the Redwood Grove had a whole new look to it. Much of the path leading to the grove was green and made for a fun contrast to the normal shoot. Lylybell and Sergio brought their own style with them with their cowboy boots.

Then as we all know, Covid hit and we didn't visit there so much until Krystal and Landyn wanted to capture their engagement session in February 2021. You may notice that the sun in these photos are coming from another angle. We started early, around 10 am as I recall, giving a new look to this location.

Finally as we head into spring, Nathan and Shima wanted to take their shot at the location. Shot the day before Valentine's Day 2022, they didn't take long to get what was needed for their session. It was going to be 98 degrees that day but luckily it was only 83 or so at the time. There was a bus there with another couple on their wedding day. We gave way to them on a few places we wanted to shoot but are alternate areas forced us to make some unique shots. Keeping on your tows is a lot of fun!

Now it is your turn. Where do you want to capture your engagement and family photos?


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