Gijalva Park spreads across 17 acres, forgoing groves of trees in favor of wide open green spaces. A sand volleyball court and two basketball courts mark the corners of the park. Three lighted multi-purpose fields in the center of the property can be reserved by sports teams or organizations. The fields do not have goals installed, but that doesn’t stop local soccer leagues from using them for weekend games. Parking may be difficult to find on these days, so come early!
The fields are encircled by a .41-mile closed-loop track ideal for running, jogging, and walking. As one of the few dirt tracks available in Orange County parks, it attracts many runners who don’t want to damage their knees running on cement or asphalt. Another .29-mile loop outlines the back of the park for a shorter walk. Visitors can also choose to tackle a combination of both trails for a total of .61 miles. These paths are wide and well-maintained but can become muddy after heavy rainfall.
One of the amenities that makes Grijalva Park unique is its exercise circuit. In 2014, the city’s Community Services Department began installing over a dozen pieces of easy-to-use fitness equipment on the southwest side of the park. This project cost about $240,000, which also included landscaping and paving costs. The area is protected by shade structures, making it the perfect place to fit in a quick workout and enjoy the fresh outdoor air without getting a sunburn in the process.
Grijalva Park is best known for its state-of-the-art fitness facility. The Sports Center at Grijalva Park contains over 26,000 square feet of exercise space, including a dance room with wood flooring, ballet barres and mirrored walls, a multipurpose room, and a huge gym with basketball and volleyball courts.
The gym is open to the public for pick-up basketball games on weekdays from 5:30-8:30; admission is $2. For those looking for more involvement, the Center hosts a men’s adult basketball league each spring and fall. The season is nine weeks long, and teams must pay a $246 fee and a $128 deposit to participate, plus $32 each game for referee services.
The Sports Center at Grijalva Park also offers a host of classes. Dance classes for toddlers and young children are just under $50 for six weeks of tuition. Adults can enroll in a variety of ballroom and line dance classes for similar prices. A huge variety of other cardio, yoga, tai chi, Zumba, and general fitness classes are also available at great values. And for community members seeking to develop a hobby or talent without sweating too much, the Center also offers jewelry-making, knitting, and pastry decorating classes.
Family gatherings or company picnics can be held at the two pavilions in the park. They must be rented in advance and can hold approximately 40 and 48 people. Barbeques throughout the park enable parties to cook their own food. The park also features one big playground, divided into two halves designated for younger or older kids, with a variety of swings and slides. Grijalva Park also offers parking and convenient access to the Santiago Creek Bike Trail.
Shea Costales is an old-soul hippie with a passion for outdoor exploring. You can usually find her doing yoga in a local park, grubbing at the newest burger shack, or petting your dog.