By Wendy Langhans
People hike for all sorts of reasons. Some hike to savor the world. They seek the thrill of understanding. Some hike to experience the world. They seek the thrill of adventure. And some do both. This week’s SCV Outdoor report is geared for those who are seeking adventure.
Last week, KHTS Station Manager Jason Endicott mentioned that he will be hiking “Half Dome” at the end of July. He asked if I could suggest any local trails that would help him train for it. The Half Dome hike is 14 to 16 miles round-trip, with an elevation gain of ~ 4,800 feet. So we need to find trails with both distance and elevation. We also need to “mix it up a bit”, with both shorter and longer trails.
Now, I’m not a professional fitness trainer, but I spoke with my friend, Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel, from the Community Hiking Club, who trained locally last year for her Mt. Kilamanjaro hike. I spoke briefly with Rawlins Jordan from the Santa Clarita Runners Club. And I also spoke with staff from the City of Santa Clarita’s Open Space Preservation District. Here are just a few of their suggestions.
1) Towsley Canyon. The Towsley View Loop Trail is a good beginning trail – 800 feet elevation gain (and loss) over a 5-1/2 mile loop.
2) Pico Canyon. The first portion of the 3-1/2 mile trail has a gentle slope, but the last half has ~1,000 feet elevation gain.
4) Quigley Canyon. Part of the City of Santa Clarita’s Open Space Preservation District, this 170 acre parcel is located in Placerita Canyon in Newhall. The 4.1 mile of trails, some with a grade of 22%. Here’s a recent video describing the recent trail improvements. According to my sources, the trail map is almost finished and will be posted later in July.
5) The Beast. According to the Santa Clarita Runners website, “This is considered the toughest trail in SCV. It starts at about 1100′ and tops out at 3864′. It is an unrelenting climb.”
So, whether you hike for adventure or to savor your surroundings (or both), I hope I’ve provided just enough information to whet your appetite. This is only a sample of the many local trails you can explore in the mountains surrounding our valley. But please remember, some of these trails may not be appropriate to hike during the hottest days of the summer. And bring the proper gear, including plenty of water.
Here are a few sites where you can learn more:
City of Santa Clarita Trails (More updates will be available soon.)
I’d also suggest checking out a few hiking books, such as “Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels” by John Robinson.
Upcoming Outdoor Events:
Saturday, July 3, 7:30 – 9:30 PM, Moonlight Stroll at Towsley Canyon. Wander the trails under our nearly full moon. Uncover which plants and animals are adapted to this transition time and maybe even see a few elusive nocturnal animals. Meet at the Towsley Canyon front parking lot. For directions and trail maps, click here.
Saturday, July 16th, 8:00 – 10:00 AM, Summer Birds at Towsley Canyon. Beat the heat of the day on this early morning stroll. We check out the local residents to see what’s up in the neighborhood. Beginning birders are welcome. Binoculars optional for this easy walk. Meet at Towsley Canyon’s front parking lot. For directions and trail maps, click here.
Trail Maintenance Schedule. Come join our volunteers as they help maintain our trails. Contact Steve at email@example.com for time and place.
Wednesday mornings, July 6, 13, 20, 27.
Saturday mornings, July 9 & 23.
You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The SCV Outdoor Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.
Check out the new Facebook page – L.A. Mountains