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Devils Canyon Trail

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Highlights:

Deep lush canyon, seasonal stream, pines, feeling of remoteness
Near:Altadena, CA
Scenery:
Distance:7 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1500 ft
Hike Time:4 hours
Difficulty:Moderate
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back



Summary: This hike drops you 1500 foot down into the lush and remote Devil's canyon. For the first couple of miles, the trail works its way down a series of switchbacks to a seasonal stream. The trail then meanders back and forth across this stream as it runs through a densely wooded, deep canyon. At about the 3.5 mile mark the official trail ends at a trail camp. Adventuresome hikers can continue further downstream boulder hopping and bushwhacking, while enjoying cascades and a 20 foot waterfall 2 miles down from trails end.

I did this hike in the midst of a drought (June 2002), and there was no water in the stream. I did speak to some backpackers who said it was stunning when they did the hike in the spring with lots of water flowing. Water or not, I enjoyed the sense of remoteness that this hike provided. Note that the trail is quite narrow, with steep drop offs, so watch your step.

Trailhead: From La Canada, drive 27 miles up Angeles Crest Highway (2), to just past the entrance to Upper Chilao Campground. You will see a parking area on the left side of the road and a very obvious signed trail marker on the right side of the road. (Lat:34.32372 Lon:-118.00312)
Trail Guides for Devils Canyon Trail:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney  (Olympus Press)

Afoot & Afield In Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad  (Wilderness Press)

California Hiking
by Tom Stienstra & Ann Marie Brown  (Foghorn Press)

Best Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs
Ranger Contact: Seco Ranger District (818) 790-1151
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted  104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 4   Submit your own review
Reviewed by TJ on 11/3/2013
I took this recently, my second time, to see the condition of the trail for some possible winter backpacking. While a little soft in parts, where a misstep could cost you, it's in good shape. At the time of this writing, only small pools of water until you get to the trail camp but then it was low and flowing. You'll make a handful of crossings on the way down so at certain times of year you'll need to be aware of that. I headed downstream for about two miles on a faint use path and via cairns. Lots of poodle dog bush down there so keep your eyes open and stay away. I don't hike much below 6K in the S.G's. Guess I like pine. But it's a good option for a moderately skilled hiker who needs to get a water fix. (I'd suggest poles for thi

Reviewed by David L. on 8/17/2011
Definitely tougher than before the Station Fire, but still navigable down to the trail camp. Be willing to climb over trees, and through the creek, and bring hiking poles. You can check out my trip report and photos here.

Reviewed by Meg on 6/22/2011
Did this hike a coupe of weeks ago with a friend. We were the only ones on the trail. Perhaps because it was a weekday. Took my dog, and went down into the canyon until we hit the 3.5 mile mark. You can go farther from here, but it is essentially blazing your own trail down the canyon after that. Lots of wildflowers along the trail that were very pretty, and very green and lush. This is nice to see after the damage the station fire did. However, there are still quite a few downed trees that are very difficult to get over, and the trail is very loose and gave way many times while we hiked. There are also many misleading paths that look like the trail and are not. Be careful about these. Otherwise a nice outing.

Reviewed by Gregory on 4/1/2011
The trail has been completely destroyed by recent rains near the start of shady part. On 3/31/2011 we were able to only get about 0.3 miles upstream, at great difficulty and with many wet feet. Trail was impassable beyond N34°17'0", W118°36'22.4".

Reviewed by yuenStudios.com on 4/4/2010
Trail is currently closed due to last year's Angeles National Forest fires.

Reviewed by Anita S. on 4/20/2009
We hiked this on 4-19-08 in the afternoon. Although it was over 90 degrees at our house near Silverlake, it felt like a pleasant 75 degrees while hiking. It is a mostly shaded single-file path that is easy to follow. There was a lot of water in the creek which made for a lovely site at the bottom of the canyon, although there were a fair amount of gnats buzzing us (but not biting) for much of the hike. Nice Indian Paintbrush, Western Wallflower and Baby Blue Eyes in bloom, plus we spotted a number of butterflies by the creek. Almost no one else was on the trail so it felt secluded. The climb back out of the canyon wasn't too steep, so it seems fair to rate this a moderate hike. We had quite an enjoyable afternoon.

Reviewed by PFung419 on 10/6/2008
Hiked this trail 10/6/08 other than the fact there was no water other than what can only be described as a puddle, the hike was really nice. I was also very interested in the trail campsite, it lies right near the stream, during the right season this would be an amazing place to camp. fyi there are no markers showing the trail campsite other than a fire pit so I am going to assume I reached the site. would hike again during winter.

Reviewed by Mtn. Mongol Man on 9/11/2008
Hiked on 09/09/08 at 11:32am. The parking & trailhead are about .5 miles past chilao right on the 50.50 mile marker. The temp was about low 80's, mildly hot/warm, nothing unbearable. There was a lot of wind at the start of the trail, but as I descended no wind shortly into the hike. At this time of the year and with the rain season there wasn't any running water. Although I rated it a 3(Pleasant, but wouldn't hike again) I didn't find it very pleasant, but I would hike it again during the spring, maybe, just to see what it can be like. A big factor for the unpleasantness was also the millions of bugs for about 80% of the hike. No exaggeration. I was breathing bugs, some fluttering up in my nose briefly and some ending in my mouth...


Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper
equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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