Summary: This hike has an amazing variety of sites and smells including strange geologic formations, frothy streambeds, tar pits and many different plant communities. The Tataviam Indians used the naturally occurring asphalt for healing purposes and to seal their basketry. At about the 0.9 mile you will encounter a slot like canyon called the Narrows which contains layers of nearly vertical rock formations. After the passage through the narrows stay left, then after another 200 yards stay left again and climb the switchbacks to the left that is called the Towsley Canyon Loop Trail. Topping out at 2450 feet, the trail begins a steep winding descent and includes breathtaking views of lush hillsides and canyons as it heads into Wiley Canyon. Joining a dirt road turn left and head down the canyon. After almost a mile of hiking take the Canyon View Loop Trail to the left which traverses over a summit and takes you back down to Ed Davis Park by the ranger station.
Trailhead: Take the Calgrove exit from the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). Turn west back under the freeway and take the Old Road south to Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon. Drive 0.6 mile west on the graded entrance road to reach the picnic area and nature center. Park your car in the dirt lot to the right and then proceed up the graded road towards the floodplain of Towsley Canyon. (Lat:34.35685 Lon:-118.55792)
Trail Guides for Towsley Canyon View Loop Trail:
Afoot and Afield in Los Angeles
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes,
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 2 of 9 Submit your own review
Reviewed by BMF on 5/29/2011
ran this rout clockwise on 05/26/2011. Great idea will do it again. it only took 55 min.
Reviewed by MikeS on 4/1/2011
I did this loop hike today (clockwise). Nice little hike. Clockwise is a little easier due to the gradual hike uphill first followed by a steep downhill to the narrows. The recent rains have made everything green and the creek is still running very full. In fact it was difficult to get through the narrows due to the creek running so high. Ended up getting both feet wet. I recommend this pleasant hike to the SCV and SFV hikers.
Reviewed by John on 3/20/2011
This is a great hike for those who are not so hard core. It has a little of everything along the way. A stream that runs along part of the trail is accompanied by tar pits scattered about. Most of it is shaded un til you get to the top of the crest. Be aware that at the top there is a fallen tree that houses a beehive. Plenty of wildlife if you're looking for it. Watch out for rattlesnakes because they are everywhere. Nice hike for relaxation and/or exercise.
Reviewed by Roddy on 7/21/2010
It is a great little hike to start your morning with. I started at 6:20am and finished at 8:40am, which is an advisable time to hike during the summer in this area. I went on the weekend so there were plenty of people walking their dogs, and trail runners. I saw quite a few desert cottontail rabbits, a few gray squirrels, many whiptail lizards, and a peregrine falcon. There were not many wildflowers blooming at this time of year except for the California Fuchsia and the prevalent Jimson Weed. On the trail there were three tar pits, gorgeous rock formations in the narrows of Towsley Canyon, and great vistas of the Santa Clarita Valley. It was an enjoyable hike and a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors.
Reviewed by Margaret on 5/30/2010
Very enjoyable hike. Weather was perfect, a lot of beautiful spring flowers. Well maintained trail. We did the loop clockwise, steeps first then down into the canyon. A lot to see. Tar pits, rock formations. The bugs weren't bad yet. It was Just an all around enjoyable spring hike.
Reviewed by Udabob on 3/28/2010
First time I did this trail. I got a late start (10:30) and went up the canyon side first and finished with the narrows. Seems like a perfect time of year as it is not too hot, still plenty of water flow, lush vegetaion, and a spattering of wildflowers. Plenty of bugs (no mesquitos though) especially flies even in spots I would not expect them. I was able to get quite a few good photographs of wildflowers including California Poppies, Bush Poppies, Lupine, and others. There were a lot of folks on the path at the start but thinned out as you went farther on the trail so was abble to enjoy the sounds of the creeks and birds. I would recommend this to others but only in spring time when the vegetation is green.
Reviewed by sjhan on 3/20/2010
Hike there 3/4 times a week, usually clockwise. As the weather gets pleasant, many hikers are out and so as the bugs. Wear glasses/sunglasses to prevent them from getting into your eyes. When the bug problems so bad, I use habdkerchief or mosquito nettings to cover my mouth and the nose. Those pesky bugs do not taste so good. Go to a fabric store and buy mosquito net type fabrics just big enough to cover your whole face and the neck. I just put the fabric over my head and wear a hat over it. It does not look too cool but better than swallowing the bugs through your mouth or nostrils. And for the people walking with your dogs, please clean after your dogs.
Reviewed by David R. on 2/15/2010
Went counter-clockwise up the steep side and ran down until the narrrows. Hiked back-up the shorter Canyon View loop and ran back down to Wiley until the car. Total mileage was about 5.5 miles in 90 minutes. Very lush and green with lots of water flow.
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