7.5 Mile Loop – Moderate to Strenuous (1,900’ of elevation gain/loss)
DIRECTIONS TO THE TRAILHEAD: From the junction of I-5 and Hwy 14 (the Antelope Valley Freeway) Drive 2.6 miles northeast on Hwy 14 to the Placerita Canyon Road exit. Drive 1.5 miles east on Placerita Canyon Road to the entrance (there’s a sign) to the Placerita Canyon Natural Area (aka Placerita Canyon State Park) located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Rd, Newhall, CA, 91321. Turn right into the “driveway” into the Placerita Canyon Natural Area and park in the lot near the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.
Our hike will begin near the Placerita Canyon Nature Center. We will hike two miles eastward through Placerita Canyon to Walker Ranch and will then head south on the Los Pinetos Trail which climbs steadily toward Wilson Saddle and the Santa Clara Divide Road. After the first steep mile or so the trail enters a live oak forest reaching Wilson Saddle (where there are bathroom facilities) two miles later. A short walk to the southeast will provide us with an overlook of the San Fernando Valley. Resuming our hike we will follow Whitney Canyon Road a short distance to a firebreak which will afford us sweeping views to the west; we’ll follow it down to the Manzanita Mountain Trail which will enable us to complete our loop hike.