Castaic Lake Trail Loop via West Launch Ramp is a 6.3 mile loop trail located near Castaic, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Castaic Lake is an interesting park. The lands are owned by State Parks, the recreational elements are run by Los Angeles County Parks and Rec., and the site is part of the State Water Project. The place is a power boater's mecca! It's well known for fishing and as a place to go for summer BBQ's on the lake's two shorelines. That being said, this place can get busy! Starting at the West Launch Ramp facility is an opportunity to escape all that does exist on the upper lake. The trail system tucked into the hills overlooking the lake's western shore winds its way along ridge-lines and into the gullies back there. These trails are primarily the home of local equestrian, mountain bikers, and individuals training for the Iron Man competition. For hikers and trail walkers they represent a chance to get away from the crowds down at the lake. It's a great place for a workout and some of the scenery is pretty nice. There's also a few spots back there where nearly all signs of civilization vanish. The only area that really needs improvement is trail signage. The available park maps at the lake are somewhat inadequate.
This is a gorgeous spot, but be prepared to pay for parking ($5 or $8 I think) and see joggers/swimmers if it's warm enough.
This trail was desolate, and when we heard coyotes making a kill in the vicinity of the area we had just passed, it was a bit eerie. The trail seems to go on and and on monotonously and is not too strenuous at all. When you finally begin to loop around you are almostly instantly greeted and rewarded by beautiful views of the upper lake area that seem to go on forever! We covered nearly the whole range, and after it looped around it continued to incline a bit. This is where I think we chose the wrong path, because we let out of the trail on a windy road which took us an additional 30 mins to cover. Altogether about a 6 plus mile hike. Although the view of the lake was miraculous I probably won't be frequenting this trail.