Oh No! It’s another Botanic Garden. This time in Riverside California

Looking up at the rose garden in the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens.

Eeeek!  Yeay! And all of those fan-girl things.  I got to spend two whole days wandering around the U.C. Riverside Botanic Gardens taking pictures of flowers.  Right!  The most perfect weekend ever. 


I got to check out this immense garden while I was down in Southern California for the California Science and Engineering Fair.  The fair started on Monday, and I spent Saturday and Sunday in the botanical garden.  A great irony I discovered on this trip, is that my son, who refuses to go hiking with me at home, insisted we go back for a second day of hiking around the botanical garden with his stepdad.  I kind of trailed behind as I’m not in as great of shape as either of them. 

Our hiking buddy who followed us around the gardens like we were fairy tale princesses.

The gardens have several different areas and extend up into the hills ringing UC Riverside.  There are flat surface paved trails, easy sloping trails, unpaved moderate difficulty trails, and trails that are steep, rutted, and very difficult.  I was dragged along every trail type there was.

We saw the most adorable bunny hopping fearlessly along side one of the trails next to us.  At first, we thought it might have been multiple rabbits at different points in the trail, and then decided that it was the same rabbit and it loved us.  There were a plethora of lizards and birds as well.  One of my favorite things about the garden is that they have a game sheet which they pass out to kids where you can check off all the things you find on the list while walking along.

The rose garden at UC Riverside Botanic Gardens.

My favorite part of the gardens were the roses.  There is a nice rose garden filled with so many different varieties.  It’s not as large as the rose garden at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, but it is a lovely little garden which is great fun to stroll though.  I hiked through conifers, coastal sage shrubs, and California sierra foothills.  The bobcat rock and Australia garden were too high up for me to reach without more time (And maybe a new body?).

Couple of notes:

Make sure to carry enough water to keep hydrated.  The higher trails are long.  Make sure you have any snacks you might need with you.  Some of these trails are hikes, you will probably prefer hiking shoes.  Don’t forget sunscreen.  Check here for a list of my essential hiking gear.


We had lots of fun.  Walked for hours.  I got about twenty miles with of steps in that weekend.  Would I do this again?  Yes.  It was a wonderful family activity.  We talked, and joked, and had so much fun taking photos of things we liked.

If you enjoyed this post about Riverside Botanic Gardens you might also like to read about my trip to the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

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