Summary: This is a very pleasant easy hike through an oak and sycamore shaded canyon. The hike meanders next to a seasonal stream, with the turn-around point at a lovely 25 foot waterfall in a dark, steep walled box canyon. Although this is a great hike anytime, it is especially pretty in the spring after rain when the hills are green and the waterfall is flowing. The nature center at the trailhead is a must-see for kids with lots of great exhibits. Also note that this is the location of the first gold rush in California, seven years before Sutter's Mill. Included in the photos is a great horned owl I saw on a rock alongside the trail!
Trailhead: From Highway 14 (Antelope Valley Freeway) in Newhall, exit on Placerita Canyon Road and turn right (east) two miles to Placerita Canyon State Park. Park in the large lot near the nature center. (Lat:34.37747 Lon:-118.46845)
Trail Guides for Placerita Canyon:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
101 Hikes in Southern California
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
by Tom Stienstra & Ann Marie Brown (Foghorn Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses
Ranger Contact: Placerita Canyon Nature Area (661) 259-7721
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted 104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 6 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Tessa on 4/12/2011
I run my puppy up this trail twice a week. Right now its beautiful, lots of water and shade. Encountered a rattlesnake but it didnt bother us. Lots of dogs and families.
Reviewed by Robert on 2/2/2011
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Reviewed by sjhan on 5/16/2010
I encountered a rattle snake twice in two weeks, once on the Canyon Trail at Walker Ranch and once on Los Pinetos approx 1/4 mile off of Walker Ranch. I hate snakes and will probaly just do the "Beast" and Manzanita for awhile.
Reviewed by AH on 2/15/2010
This is a great hike to do with kids. The families were out in force today to enjoy the warm weather and the water in the streams. If you want more solitude and challenge, hike up the Los Pinetos Trail. It had more shade than I expected, which was nice after ascending through exposed chapparal. Next time I plan to hike farther into the National Forest.
Reviewed by Ro on 12/31/2009
Completed a quick, easy 4 mi hike (roundtrip) to Walker Ranch and back. A good family hike. A few mtn bikers on the trail. Next time I'd like to come back and get to Los Pinetos Saddle which is 4.9 mi from the trailhead.
Reviewed by CaliMar on 11/24/2009
Hiked this today as my 2nd ever hike in my life. Very nice. Several other hikers on the trail including seniors and children. Surprised to see so many others considering it was noon on a Tuesday - I can imagine there'd be a lot of people on a nice weekend. No water in the stream and definitely no waterfalls but pretty nonetheless. Moderate difficulty. Took about 2hrs round trip from the Nature Center. Look forward to doing it again after a decent rain.
Reviewed by HMR on 11/5/2009
Hiked again last saturday. Hardly any other hikerson the trail. There were quite a few mountain bikers, so beware. No water yet, but so much more green due to the recent rains. Still one of my favorites.
Reviewed by TC on 8/23/2009
Hike late afternoon today, began 4:40 pm. Obviously, the waterfall was completely dried. Very nice trail, lots of shades. Hiked wtih two of my children, 12 and 10. Good trail to hike with family. Would definitely go again, especially in Spring when the water will be plentiful.
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