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Devil Canyon

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Marine Geology, Sandstone Caves, Wooded Canyon, Intermittent Stream
Near:Chatsworth, CA
Distance:4.7 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:462 ft
Hike Time:2.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: Fire-ravaged Devil Canyon with it's spectacular rock formations created 80 million years ago in a marine environment makes for a haunting yet beautiful and easy hike. The trail begins off a dirt parking area past an open gate on the north end of Topanga Canyon Blvd. The trail descends into the canyon below and after some water hopping the scenery improves. Live Oak and Willow trees fill the canyon and sandstone geology of the wildest kind begins to unfold. There are caves to be discovered in the tributaries along the way (Falls Creek) if you don't mind some bushwacking. At about 2.3 miles you will come to a locked gate haulting all progress. Feeling adventurous? Jump the gate and hike up the creek for awhile and you will find a neat looking old concrete dam. Be careful climbing around on it, it's a long way down from the top of the dam into the bottom of Devil Canyon.
Trailhead: From the 118 Freeway exit at Topanga Canyon Blvd. Drive up the little road at the north end of Topanga past an open gate into a dirt parking area. The trailhead starts on the east side of the parking area and heads northeast down into the canyon. (Lat:34.27829 Lon:-118.60372)
Trail Guides for Devil Canyon:
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
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 6   Submit your own review
Reviewed by AT on 11/28/2015
This hike is crap. By bush wacking, these people mean you are trekking through the brush, but with nothing to make it worth your while at the end. No gorgeous views or anything redeeming. Definitely wear long pants. I made the mistake of mid calf pants, so much brush I walked out all itchy and totally turned off this hike. Will never go back and don't recommend walking it with kids or with pets until they clean it up a bit for them.

Reviewed by David L on 4/15/2015
Easy to reach if you park on the street. Yes you have to walk through the condo parking lot to reach the stairs, but it's just a short distance. My trip report here has more details, pictures, etc. Also - the gate that's mentioned in several writeups and in "Afoot And Afield" is no longer there, so you can do a nice long but moderate hike up the entire canyon (10 miles round trip).

Reviewed by Joe on 9/27/2013
I didn't read the reviews here first, otherwise I would have found the trailhead. I actually got to the trail via another route, having turned right on Poema. Lots of shade, interesting trees and rock formations. The trail was a little hard to find at times and there are areas that are pretty overgrown. I would also imagine that after rains the canyon is far less passable. Even though I hiked in the middle of a summer day, the temperature was very cool in the canyon. A very nice hike and I am already making plans to go back.

Reviewed by Jn on 1/19/2013
This trail is impossible to get to unless you live in a gated community. Nice waste of time.

Reviewed by Criss on 8/18/2012
This is a beautiful hike. The easiest way to find this loction is to put into your GPS 11500 North Poema Place, Chatsworth. You will park on the street in front of this address (Condos) walk through the parking lot, to the right you will see a gate with a concrete staircase. You can go this route, but I SUGGEST, you walk to the gate and turn left. Walk this path until you see a little hill, the path ends here, turn right. You will walk down a bedrock path that is gorgeous. It will come together with the path you would take if you took the stairs, then just go straight and follow the path, a little ways in the scenery picks up. There are many paths but it doesnt matter which you take, they all end up crossing. MAKE SURE TO WEAR LONG SLEEVES!

Reviewed by V.M. on 3/30/2012
Since we just had rain, I'm guessing this is why I had a horrible time. The trail is hard to find, and without the previous review and a passerby's help, I was lost for 20min. When I found that the concrete stairs into the stream or canyon ended in brush, I still didnt give up. [i like bush-whacking]. The STEEP descend into the stream is one of those, slip-and-you-die descends. Well, if you like blazing your own trail, this one a doozy. I had to constantly rock hop, slip from mud into water, and check my way every 5 steps to see if I could pass. I was basically tramping through a stream. After some way through, I decided to head back since I didnt want to go back the steeo climb exhausted. FML!

Reviewed by LH on 2/29/2012
Easy to find if you know you have to park outside the condos on the hill. Park near the third driveway on Poema, on the right, walk up that driveway to the first street on the right, you will see the gate and stairs ahead of you. Easy trail if there is not much water in the stream. Lots of shade.

Reviewed by Melinda on 7/23/2011
it was difficult to find at first. While heading north on topanga cyn go straight past the freeway and turn left at poima st (the dead end at the top of topanga cyn) and once you find the map for the condos park along the street and walk through the condominium parking lot until you arrive at a long stretch of cement stairs, head down these stairs and hang a left to follow the wide trail to a river (or at the time that I went a dried up river bed) there are a couple of neat areas to hike up and go back down the same way but nothing more. This trail is not maintained at all & I would not recommend bringing any animals (I.e. dogs) & deffiently wear long clothing as there's lots of ticks, and bring a machete if you would like to go further

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