Sunday, November 10, 2019

Haskell Canyon

The City of Santa Clarita decided in 2007 to devote funds to buying green space around Santa Clarita which has led in the intervening years to several open spaces full of awesome hiking trails. Haskell Canyon is a pretty canyon and takes you from the suburbia of LA County to the backcountry very quickly.

There is no sugarcoating it, if you hit the trails that run up the sides of the canyon it's going to be steep. The first 0.5 of a mile is going to test your trail muscles as much as any trail in SoCal. The upside is that when you finally gain the ridge line and fire trail the views are fantastic.

I hiked the canyon in a counterclockwise fashion and its pretty easy to make your way around the canyon although as there are several fire trails that intersect with the canyon trail so just try and stay left at any fork where you can.

There are a lot more people on the trails nowadays and tons of articles about the outdoors being "loved to death". Santa Clarita has done a very smart thing by putting markers every tenth of a mile and if anyone gets into trouble the markers are numbered so you can let emergency services know where you are.

I definitely go outside to get away from the 9to5 grind of office life but I definitely appreciate the thoughtfulness of signs like this.

Once you get to the backside of the canyon you have a few choices. Choice 1, take a gentle trail down through heart of the canyon. Choice 2, keep taking the fire road around the canyon rim. Choice 3, take a seriously steep goat trail that hooks up midway through the canyon. Guess which one I took?

The trail is definitely doable you just have to take your time and scooch as needed.

Here is the difference in slope between Choice 1 and Choice 3.

No matter what trail you take, I highly recommend going through the canyon which is very picturesque. There are tons of bike trails and legal (or not) ramps so if you are into biking this might be a good spot to bomb down some trails.

As I wandered my way back to to the mouth of the canyon I couldn't help but be thankful for Santa Clarita taking the initiative on securing this space 10+ years ago. In a time when many cities are building as much as they can where they can, Santa Clarita's Open Spaces are a much needed outdoor antidote and one you should definitely explore!

For more info on Haskell Canyon check out this info:


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