January 5th – Devil Canyon to Browns Canyon Road
21 hikers met at the hike’s starting point on Poema Place in Chatsworth on a cool winter morning. As our hike began we descended along a fairly steep “use” trail into the heavily shaded bottom of Devil Canyon where we followed the remnants of the Devil Canyon Motorway upstream as it frequently crisscrossed the sometimes wet (thanks to recent rain) creek bed.
We spotted lots of interesting sandstone-rock-cliff formations and chalk dudleya “liveforever” plants as we made our way up to the large dam at the trail’s junction with the mouth of Ybarra Canyon. After a brief rest break we continued upstream along the occasionally muddy, but mostly dry, trail which from this point on had been transformed a few of years ago from single-track to a “one-lane” dirt road [the reason for this not being apparent though several short dirt “side roads” and one long one heading north have also been created]. As the canyon widened we passed by grass-covered hillsides dotted with oak trees. When we reached the upper-canyon Cathedral-like oak woodland, the trail reverted to its natural undisturbed state (including lots of fallen oak trees, presumably killed by wildfire and drought). Upon reaching Brown’s Canyon Road we turned right (east) and hiked a short distance uphill where we took a break and enjoyed views to the south. We then retraced our route and returned to our vehicles having completed a very pleasant 9.6-mile hike in this unique canyon with about 1,300’ of elevation gain/loss.