Hike-in Required
Guided tours
ADA accessible
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Sepulveda Basin area was originally used for cattle grazing, which then led to wheat, corn, and sod farming. The Sylmar Earthquake of 1971 created what we know as the Sepulveda Basin today. The lining of the Van Norman Reservoir grew weak, and borrow pits were dug into the clay soil to use for re-lining the reservoir. During the winter months, rain filled these pits, creating ponds, which attracted many bird species to the area.

After many years, a master plan was completed in March 1988 to create the 60 acres of the Sepulveda Basin and Wildlife Reserves we know today. This plan aimed to utilize the newly formed lakes and ponds to highlight these new wetland conditions. The plan intended to replant native plant species to create new habitats in the basin. The area including the borrow pits was graded and dug to create a large 11-acre pond with a secluded island in the north reserve. A pipe was installed from Haskell Creek to provide the pond with a continuous water supply. Native flowers, shrubs, and trees were planted all around the reserve and flourished in the years to come. As predicted, the area then served as a haven for waterfowl and other bird, reptile, and mammal species.

Over 200 different bird species can be found at Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve, which makes it a true hidden gem of Los Angeles.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great birdwatching. Easy access. Ample parking. Close to town.


Lots of trash and graffiti. Homeless camps. Sounds of traffic.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Bird watching
Bird watching
Bird watching
ADA accessible


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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