Monday, January 20, 2020


Mentryville is an old oil town located in Santa Clarita and is one of the coolest trailheads in SoCal. There are a few buildings left of the town founded in 1876 and you should definitely poke around either before or after your hike.

But hike you should and one of the other great benefits of hiking in the Mentryville/Santa Clarita Woodlands Park is that the trail has natural stopping points along the way so you can tailor the hike to whatever your level/preference is. Most hikes don't give you options on the type of hike that you can go on which is a triple bonus of this hike.

Hike The First: Onward To Plaques! 

As you hike out of Mentryville and into the mountains, the trail for the most part is a gravel-y road with a very modest elevation gain.

In fact, I would call this portion of the trail flat although you do go uphill slightly as you make your way toward a picnic facility on the left and in the early morning that canyon can run COLD with all the shade.

The trail/road follows a stream that has actually honest-to-goodness water in it (a rarity here in the desert southwest) and I definitely recommend taking some time to check out all the stream action you can handle. There are great geological features and trees to check out along the path.

Eventually the trail decides to gain a bit more elevation, a bit more elevated heart pumping and then you made it. To the plaques, which celebrate the drilling of the first successful oil well in California. While oil has been a mixed blessing for humanity and the planet, the history at this spot still is fascinating and they even have some of the old equipment there to take a look at!

Hike The Second: Onward To The Rock! 

The second section of the hike is your more classic SoCal dirt hike which wends it way up into the mountain. Going through this gate means you are going the right way.

The hike is beauty and also quiet. Freeways are a fact of life in SoCal and it's surprising that there are so many trails right next to them. This trail is quiet and you are just surrounded by mountains which is definitely my jam.

This section of the trail has a pretty decent elevation gain as you make your way a little northwest into the park. Eventually the trail flattens out and there is a big rock in the middle of the trail. Yet another natural stopping point if you are feeling the burn.

Hike The Third: To The Picnic Table!

If you are feeling good and want to push on, then do it because there is some awesome scenery ahead. After some more elevation gain (the trail is never severely steep but you will get a good workout) you finally make it to the ridegline.

This section of the trail is a little rollercoaster-y but not terrible as you make your away around little bumps in the mountains. Eventually you make your way to a pseudo-helicopter pad, gravel top which is your destination (with the aforementioned picnic bench!)

I can't think of a better place to have lunch. You are surrounded by mountains and will most likely have the top all to yourself. This is one of the better resting spots in all of SoCal and a great capstone to the hike.

There is a goat trail that extends out into the unknown but I might save that hike for another day. This hike really surprised me with its variety and serenity and is now one of my favorites in the Santa Clarita area!

For more info about hiking around Mentryville, check out this link!


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