While waiting for my car to be fixed, I had some time to burn, so I decided to hike the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area. It’s a short 2-3 mile hike with beautiful views of the Santa Clarita Area. It’s also right off the highway, so if you are looking for a spot to stop on your way to Los Angeles, it’s a good option.
About Placerita Canyon Natural Area:
Directions: 19152 Placerita Canyon Rd, Newhall, CA, 91321
Placerita Canyon State Park is a California State Park located in the western San Gabriel Mountains near Santa Clarita. Unlike many trails, there is a lot of history and exhibits in Placerita Canyon. The Placerita Canyon dates back to 1842, when it was annexed under Rancho San Francisco. It also is the first documentary discovery of gold in California! In 1900, they discovered oil.
Placerita Canyon is managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. The Placerita Canyon Nature Center and the “Walker Cabin,” a restored and furnished 1920s cabin. So, in addition to hiking, there are plenty of fun exhibits to check out.
The Placerita Canyon is also known for the seepage of “white oil” that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. There is a small pool near the Nature Center.
About the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area:
The Canyon Trail is one of the most accessible trails in the Placerita Canyon Natural Area. That is exactly what I wanted, something easy, scenic, and to kill some time. Most of the trail is shaded, and it’s a fairly easy trail. It begins at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and winds around Placerita Canyon to the Los Pinetos and Waterfall trailheads.
They do allow mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking depending on the trail. You can learn more about the Placerita Canyon Natural Area on their website.
My Experience Hiking the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area:
I got to Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area around 2 pm. There were plenty of parking spaces as well as bathrooms. I also appreciated there were water fountains (which seem like a premium at parks lately). I can tell this is one of the better-maintained parks and maybe the most family-friendly.
I hiked to the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area. The trail is not too steep and wide enough to fit two people across. It was smooth. While good hiking shoes are a most, the trail isn’t too technical and is a good family-friendly trail. I saw two other people the entire time. It’s also well marked, and I appreciated the half-mile markers.
While there isn’t a “major view,” it’s a nice hiking trail if you’re in the area. I’m looking forward to exploring some of the other longer options and exploring more of the nature center. It definitely has something for everyone, even if you “aren’t a hiker” and want to eat lunch and explore a historic site. I had no idea the first documented finding of gold in California was right here in Santa Clarita.
You can see more hikes and trail runs here.
Questions for you:
Have you been to the Canyon Trail at Placerita Canyon Natural Area?
What is your favorite hiking area?