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Socal - Los Angeles County - Santa Clarita NickNames: #EastCanyon east canyon
The trailhead is off of The Old Road a little bit south of Towsley Canyon and about a mile north of where I-5 and the 14 cross over one another.
I went up there again last Saturday and the fence to the west of the junction and water tank was once again padlocked closed. Bummer. But based on your feedback I probably shouldn't have been in there in the first place. It kind of sucks that there is all this rideable land unavailable to a property tax paying citizen of Santa Clarita. I thought all of that land was part of the Antonovich Reserve or someting?
afit45 a 45 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Trek 4 Series hardtail from Valencia
But be warned, the trails of Weldon Canyon are very soft and sandy from the recent usage by the heavy fire equipment. I'm thankful for the fire fighters, but be cautious until the next rain.
I had a pretty bad fall today, cracked the old helmet going downhill.
danielmidi a 27 year old Cross-Country Rider riding a Cannondale from Santa Clarita
We started our ride at 8:15am about 60 degrees with a little wind and the cloudcover stayed out all day along with a pretty constant temperature. Great weather for riding, except for the limited views. Ride time was 2 hours 20 minutes.
Started off at the trailhead at East Canyon. A sign is up with rules for the open space Santa Monica Conservancy area which suggests a $3 parking fee to a parking post, but no envelopes were available so free parking. We were the first vehicle at the trailhead and there were about 4 vehicles when we returned. East Canyon is still pretty much in the same condition as my last ride except a bit dryer in the brush and sandier on the path. Climb up out of the canyon past a big meadow and to a big oak at the top where you hit Rice Canyon. Continue on to Weldon Canyon. Weldon Canyon follows the power lines down the hill and was much sandier compared to last ride about a month or two ago. We once again stopped at the lookout post to rest although we couldn't see much. The first mile of the trail is up and down across the ridge and then it is a lot of steady descent with steep and curvy areas. Saw a lot of scat on East Canyon trail but a ton more footprints on Weldon Canyon. We saw plenty of coyote and deer tracks as well as some mountain lion tracks. We thought we heard a mountain lion but can not confirm anything. We did later on down see 3 deer. There are two forks in this trail on the way down. One is the Sunshine Canyon Trail which by map just ends up at the landfill in Sunshine Canyon. The power lines follow this trail all the way down and follow Weldon Canyon only along the ridge. The second fork is about halfway down Weldon Canyon and is a private road of BFI waste company leading also to the dump. We saw the deer at this fork. Weldon Canyon was cool and breezy just like the rest of the day and a good doubletrack kind of ride, just a little sandier than last time. To complete this loop, take paved road from the trailhead across the bridge over Interstate 5. Make a left on the Old Road and descend this highway for another mile or so to the parking lot for East Canyon. Overall, a good loop. I hope to go exploring some more with the new over-the-hill trail and the Rice Canyon loop.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 5.5 Elevation change: 1500
Dirt Road=10% Paved Path=10% Truck Trail=80%
Steve K a 17 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA
Intended ride: East Canyon to Mission Peak to Three
Trees to Neon Wy. & O'Melvheny Park.
What we did b/c of stupid SOCAL Gas Co. gate and closure: East Canyon/Weldon Canyon Loop Trail.
yes, as Dirtshark said previously Socal Gas. Co. has erected a fence about 8ft. tall with barbed wire on top and extending about 100m in one direction down the hillside and at least 1/4 mile the other direction from what i could see. It is not climeable or really possible to get around the fence at all and sure not with a bike, so let's just assume they don't want anyone on the other side of the fence period. It shows. The fence is right next to the water towers and blocks access of the Mario De Campos trail which passes Mission Peak and Three Trees on its way to Neon Wy. and also blocks the route to Oat Mountain and any of the other peaks with communication towers. I guess the property is now owned by SOCAL gas and may no longer be private or parts of property next to the fence are private but cannot be reached from the East Canyon side. I am curious as to where you would hit a fence going up from Neon Wy. and coming down from Oat Mountain but this fence seems to cover a lot of space near the top, blocking many possible routes. I did descend the hillside where the fence went down and crawled past a tree to get on the other side, but its not really doable by bike. Better off just to not go up there anyways. So basically when you ride to the water towers from East Canyon or Weldon Canyon, you can't really go on and the best idea is to make a loop.
Now about the details of the loop ride: Started East Canyon about 8am. Saw 2 other mtbr's and 3 hikers at the trailhead. East Canyon Trail is beautiful. The fire damage is barely even noticeable anymore and most of the canyon is shady and green. First section travels through oak forest near a creekbed which actually did have water in it. Very green in this area. Easy riding. Trail continues and begins a climb which just increases in difficulty as you ascend. You will pass a large green meadow and a couple more oaks. Good views of East Canyon, Interstate 5, and the community of Santa Clarita. Meet intersection with Rice Canyon near the top of the hill. Rice Canyon is another trail in the Santa Clarita Woodlands/Santa Monica Conservancy to make a loop with. Just past Rice Canyon is a viewpoint. On a clear day, like this one we saw highway 126, interstate 5, Santa Clarita Valley, Towsley canyon,
Oat Mountain, and all the other mountains along the top ridge. Fire damage was still a bit evident as it was a little worse to the north. We continued on past Weldon Canyon Trailhead and then got to the water tanks and huge fence. Turned back and decided to ride down Weldon Canyon. Weldon Canyon is a doubletrack ride and a quick downhill. As an uphill it is probably advanced if we were to call East Canyon and intermediate climb. Weldon Canyon is a very sunny ride in a chaparrel setting. At the top of Weldon Peak, there is a lookout hut with a bench and shade to stop at. Pretty nice work from the Santa Clarita Woodlands/ LA County Supervisor Michael Antonvich who helped to get the land and the Santa Monica Conservancy. (I read a sign at the top). Weldon Canyon is a little technical but nothing much. Just a quick speedy ride like East Canyon would be as a downhill. One bad thing about Weldon Canyon is that despite its great views of everywhere around, the landfill in Sunshine Canyon takes up a lot of the view and sometimes Weldon Canyon is a little smelly. Anyways, Weldon Canyon comes up at Coltrane Rd. To get back to East Canyon Trailhead, take Coltrane rd. bridge across the 5 Freeway and make a left on the Old Rd. Descend about a mile and you're back. Mileage for this loop ride was around 5 miles. East Canyon climb is about 2.25, Weldon Canyon is 1.75 and about 1 mile of highway. Good ride overall. Enjoy! Just hope we can do something about the fence. Maybe we can write letters to get our trails back for mountain biking and hiking.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: ~5 Elevation change: East Canyon climbs 1200, Weldon descends 900, Old Rd. descends 250
Singletrack=(Double track) 40% Dirt Road=45% Paved Path=15%
Steve K a 16 year old Weekend Warrior riding a Mongoose XR-100 from Canyon Country (Santa Clarita), CA
The single track heading south of Three Trees ends at the Sesnon St. and Neon Way trailhead in Granada Hills.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 16 miles Elevation change: 1200
Singletrack=30-% Dirt Road=60% Truck Trail=10%
Tino a 28 year old Weekend Warrior riding a 03' Specialized Epic from Granada Hills, Ca.