Insider’s Guide to the El Dorado Nature Center
Explore the outdoors and view wildlife at Long Beach’s largest natural attraction — the family-friendly El Dorado Nature Center.
Perfect for nature lovers, families looking to spend some quality time outdoors, or those looking for a scenic location for walking or running, the El Dorado Nature Center is a hidden gem located just minutes from downtown Long Beach and its attractions, restaurants, and hotels. This 105-acre natural oasis serves as a wildlife sanctuary and is ideal for spotting local flora and fauna, including turtles, rabbits, and over 100 species of birds, as well as plant and tree species that offer a snapshot of California’s diverse vegetation, such as redwoods and Eucalyptus trees.
Nature Center Museum
Visitors begin their journey in the El Dorado Nature Center by crossing a short bridge to reach a tiny island, where they can enter the Visitor Center and Museum. Here, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can view maps to plot their course through the Center’s trails, pick up a bird spotting checklist, purchase environmentally-themed souvenirs from the gift shop, and engage with or listen to a number of interactive exhibits that educate guests about the wildlife that can be found throughout the park and surrounding region. Not to be missed, the museum’s gallery regularly displays nature photography and artwork created by local artists.
The El Dorado Nature Center hosts a variety of special programs and educational experiences throughout the year, including pre-school programs (advance registration required), morning bird walks and other workshops. The Center also hosts special seasonal events, including a Howl-o-Ween Festival each fall that allows guests to trick-or-treat their way along the trails, in addition to face painting, food trucks and more.
To learn more and view a schedule of upcoming programs, click here.
Location, Hours & Admission
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of parking at the El Dorado Nature Center?
The trails and museum are free to access, however there are vehicle entrance fees that vary based upon the day of your visit and vehicle type. Note that guests arriving by foot or bicycle do not have to pay the vehicle entrance fee.
Current vehicle entrance fees:
- Weekday: $6
- Friday: $7
- Weekend: $8
- Holiday: $9
- School Bus: $30
- Charter Bus: $35
RVs, Trucks & Trailers:
- Weekday: $11
- Weekend: $15
- Holiday: $21
How long are the El Dorado Nature Center trails?
There are three different trails in the El Dorado Nature Center that vary in length and terrain type. There is a ¼ mile paved trail, a one mile dirt trail, and an additional one mile dirt trail that spurs off of the main one mile trail.
How big is the El Dorado Nature Center?
The El Dorado Nature Center is 105 acres and features over two miles of walking trails.
When is the best time to visit the El Dorado Nature Center?
There is never a bad time to visit the El Dorado Nature Center, however to avoid weekend crowds it is recommended to visit Tuesday-Friday. Though the Center’s trees and other vegetation offer abundant shade, during warmer summer months it is recommended to visit earlier in the day to dodge the heat and sun.
Is photography allowed at the El Dorado Nature Center?
Yes, casual, wildlife and landscape photography is allowed at the El Dorado Nature Center. Photography or videography that uses costumes, props, or lighting is not permitted. Learn more about the El Dorado Nature Center’s photography policy here.