Santa Clarita offers a wide range of outdoor recreation options for those looking to make good on a New Year’s resolution or simply to enjoy the area’s extraordinary scenery.
Explore rolling hills of brush and chaparral on hundreds of miles of trails. Popular spots to hike include Placerita Canyon, Central Park, East Walker Ranch, Elsmere Canyon, Golden Valley Ranch, Haskell Canyon Open Space, Quigley Canyon and Wildwood Canyon.
Placerita Canyon Natural Area is a 350-acre wildlife sanctuary located at the Western end of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California’s Santa Clarita Valley. The Placerita Canyon Park features seven different Santa Clarita trails, covering more than 12 miles. Trails range in size from the 0.16 mile Botany Trail to the 2.45 mile Los Pinetos Trail. A picnicking area is available near the Nature Center. Family Nature Walks at and Native Live Animal Presentations are available year round. It’s an amazing place to get a glimpse at the natural beauty of Southern California.
The City of Santa Clarita’s Central Park is 130 acres located in the center of the city. Central Park offers a 3.1 mile cross country trail which is popular with hikers, cross country runners and dog-walkers. The trail is often used by local high school and college athletes to train and hold meets. Central Park also contains baseball and softball diamonds, a community garden, multi-use fields and the Central Bark Dog Park.
Surrounded by mountains, the East Walker Ranch is a 140 acre park along Placerita Canyon Road. The land was once used as a cattle ranch and offers three different hiking trails. Due to the Sand Fire in 2016, visitors are advised to stay on the marked trails so vegetation in the area can rehabilitate.
The city’s purchase of land within Elsmere Canyon in 2010 added over 800 acres to 400 acres of land already owned by the public, establishing 1,200 acres for public recreation. The canyon is home to diverse wildlife like gray fox, bobcat, coyote and mule deer – is a great spot for hikers, cyclists and horseback riding. Trails are scaled by difficulty and grade, from gentle to steep. The canyon is located within Newhall Pass, near Angeles National Forest.
Golden Valley Ranch is 900 acres of rolling hills and prominent ridgelines, dotted with shrub, chaparral and oak trees. Horse Peak, 2,391 feet above sea level, is the highest point in Santa Clarita. Like the East Walker Ranch, this area was affected by the 2016 Sand Fire. Visitors should stay on marked trails to allow vegetation to rehabilitate.
Haskell Canyon Open Space, located near Angeles National Forest is over 500 acres and contains newly established and planned trails. Once a cattle ranch, and then used to raise hogs. There are stunning views from the top peaks.
Quigley Canyon, which has many ranch-style homes and views of a working western movie ranch, is a popular area for horse riding. The city owns 160 acres of land within the canyon and has recently refurbished over 4 miles of trails. Quigley Canyon is located within Placerita Canyon, in the Newhall area.
For impressive views of the Santa Clarita valley, try the 95 acre Wildwood Canyon open space. The area offers strands of oak trees, steep ravines and gentle to steep trails.
For more information and helpful tips, please visit HikeSantaClarita.com