Summary: This fun-filled little adventure is sure to make for a great time with family and friends. Along the way there are half a dozen stream crossings, pastoral grasslands, a lush variety of plant types including creeping snowberry, scarlet monkey flower, stinging nettle and four varieties of giant oaks with sycamore and willow trees. A short walk from your car brings you to a sign that says East Canyon and Rice Canyon. To the right is a hiker's trail that goes through a meadow and into Rice Canyon and then ascends for a short distance to the turnaround point in a grassy field above the canyon. Retracing your steps back to the junction you have the option of hiking up East Canyon. East Canyon starts out pleasantly along a wooded canyon then begins ascending quickly for about two miles offering up expansive views of the city and goes through a bigcone Douglas-fir forest then ends at a gate with private property beyond, the mandatory turnaround point.
Trailhead: From the 405 freeway north merge onto Interstate 5 and then exit at Calgrove Boulevard. Turn left under the freeway and go south 0.8 mile on The Old Road. The trailhead is on the right next to a horse ranch just before The Old Road goes under Interstate 5. The trail starts at a sign and gate just off the parking lot. (Lat:34.34595 Lon:-118.54335)
Trail Guides for Rice CanyonEast Canyon:
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (805) 370-2301
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Eric Altizer, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Mike P on 1/22/2013
Very easy to find and very well maintained. Not sure why LA Magazine had this on their top 10 hikes but it seems like a nice escape for those who live in the area. FWY and shooting range noise will plague you the entire trip.
Reviewed by RandallT on 6/8/2012
I hike this trail several times a week. With the warming weather and narrowing trails (due to erosion, over-growth and a lack of trail maintenance), I find myself looking down (for snakes and culverts) during 90% of the hike. Crossed paths with several deer and a coyote yesterday (6/7/12). As typical in the Santa Clarita Valley - the bikers and other hikers I meet are always congenial!
Reviewed by ABL on 3/11/2012
Hiked this today. Hiked 2.6 miles up the East Canyon Trail from our car to the yellow pipe marked "Weldon" then back down, for a total of 5.2 miles. I don't think that was the end of the East Canyon trail though as we didn't hit a gate marking private property. Elevation gain of 1153 feet. Encountered one 2' long brown snake laying across the trail (not a rattlesnake) midway up. Encountered several other hikers and a few mountain bikers. No horses, but evidence of them and many other animals along the trail. Sounds of the shooting range and highway could no longer be heard after about maybe 1.8 miles up. Lots of flies/bugs near the bottom where it is flatter near the creek crossings.
Reviewed by MPM on 6/27/2011
I hiked the East Canyon trail up to Weldon Canyon trail/fire road. The beginning of the trail is kind of junky looking with pieces of culvert strewn about, presumably for work on stream crossings. But it gets much better after the two trails split and you begin to gain elevation. The trail has suffered severe erosion in some places, but is still passable. The views are well worth the it. Up at the junction with Weldon Canyon I saw a California Condor. I believe this trail gets more horse traffic that others in the area as the tail head is next to a horse ranch. Encountered no snakes or ticks, but was bothered by flies in the middle half of the trail.
Reviewed by L.G. on 5/24/2011
Beautiful Scenery-Watch for ticks and rattle snakes. $5 to park. This could be an amazing trail but it is not well maintained. We almost stepped on a rattler that was hiding in the grass in the middle of the trail. Also I pulled a dozen ticks off my dog. We did enjoy the quail, the squirrels, the tadpoles.
Reviewed by David L. on 9/19/2010
Nice hike close to the Valley, good workout, good scenic variety. The freeway noise (and the gun range) I can do without, but at least once you get into Rice Canyon it's nice and quiet, and the views from East Canyon are great. Check out some of my pictures here.
Reviewed by EN on 7/23/2009
when you at the junction of East canyon fire road and Weldon canyon fire road turn left (East) and hike to the birds observation deck, it about 2.5 miles round trip, very little elevation change, take your time at the observation deck and enjoy the moment.
Reviewed by RB on 4/17/2008
it is beautiful, but there are ticks everywhere!!!
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