Over Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to check out the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail. Originally, we planned to go out of town but decided we needed a more relaxing weekend. So we decided to check out some local areas. We like Tehachapi, so we made a day trip out of that. I heard the trail was a fun but a challenging hike. I have also heard (and verified) the last half mile is private property, and you are not allowed on it. So keep in mind you’ll get to the false summit but won’t be able to go to the actual peak. It’s obvious there is no trespassing but the views are still good.
About the Tehachapi Mountain Park Hike:
Distance: 4 miles (We got lost coming down in the snow, so it was about 5 miles for us).
Elevation: 1650 feet
Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail Address: 17350 Water Canyon Rd, Tehachapi, CA 93561
With nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain, it was much colder near the top, so keep that in mind with how you dress.
About Tehachapi Mountain Park:
There is a lot to do! Of course, hiking, but you can also rent campgrounds for $18 a night. (It is free for daytime hiking). Dogs are welcome on the trail but must be leashed.
We saw plenty of campers! You’ll notice two trails at the Tehachapi Mountain Trailhead:
- Tehachapi Mountain Trail
- Noah Nature Trail (it’s only 1/4 mile long)
The Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail is not easy. The last .88 miles gain about 800 feet. You are walking up a mountain, and honestly, it was the most challenging mile I’ve done in a bit but that challenge was also because there was still snow on the ground. Tehachapi has had on/off snow for the last month, but the higher elevations still keep the snow. So we had some melting ice towards the top. You will struggle without good shoes, and you might need to take many pauses (I know I did).
My Experience at the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail:
It was about an hour’s drive from us at Edwards, and we arrived around noon on a Saturday. There were about five cars. The parking is just along the side of the road. There are bathrooms further down as well. We headed up the paved road, and about 1/4 mile up, we saw the Tehachapi Mountain Trailhead. From there, it’s all dirt. It was fun because even in late November there were leaves on the ground. It made for a fun combo of leaves and snow. But also a slippery combo.
‘Once you start on the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail, it does get steeper. In the first half mile, I wondered how I would make it to the top. Little did I know how vertical it was. The trail gets confusing, but we used Alltrails to navigate, and for the most part, you stay on the fire road.
Just before 2 miles, you’ll see a sign that says the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail is .88 miles up. When you look up, you think, ” Oh crap, here is where the elevation comes from. The last .88 has more than the first part of the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail combined. It took about 45 minutes to get up there (with plenty of stopping and avoiding snow and ice).
What you *need to know*
You won’t make it to the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail because the very top is private property and marked. I’ve heard the owners do not want hikers on their property, and they have made that well-known. A few reviews on Alltrails said they’ve seen ranchers with guns patrolling. It kind of stinks because you’ll make it about 300 feet from the top but can’t go any further. The views of where you can go on the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail are worth it though and it’s still fun to climb up.
Coming Down Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail:
Because a good portion of the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail was covered in snow, we missed the trail and circled down a bit before getting back on track. This meant our journey was about 5 miles with 1850 feet of elevation. It also meant we ended up scaling the side of a snowy mountain, which was slightly traumatic. If it’s snowed at all in the past few weeks near Tehachapi, it is likely the Mountain Park Trail will still have snow, so keep that in mind. It’s probably easier if it hikes the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail from April-early October.
Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail Conclusion:
I enjoyed the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail, and it was fun to look down on Tehachapi. It’s challenging, and while it’s shorter, 1600 feet of gain in 4 miles is not easy. It took us about 2.5 hours to complete. I wish you could go all the way to the top, but they don’t want trespassers.
You can see more hikes and trail runs here.
Questions for you:
Have you hiked the Tehachapi Mountain Park Trail?
What is your favorite local trail?