Whitney Canyon: Santa Clara Truck Trail (aka 'The Beast') is a 7.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Newhall, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
this was my intro to trail running and I instantly fell in love. Great ascent fun but safe trail.
how is this rated as hard? the steepest part is the 500 feet leaving the parking lot.
Really fun easy trails. Nice and wide paths. Made it all the way to the top.
great trail I've only gone 3.2 miles of the the full 5 or 6 to the top. mainly because of time. I jog down every time. I'm going to get to the top sooner or later. but definitely not hard. be cautious of snakes, and at night coyotes. very recommended.
-- The trail is not as hard as described. The first portion is very easy, only when you get deeper into the canyon it is a bit harder.
The trail itself extends much further that the map shows, and this is the more interesting part, and a little bit harder. At the end of the trail you get to the a very steep canyon where the "mouth" of the river is, and this part is dangerous to climb. Many puddles and a very weak stream of water.
All in all a great trail.
I'm not sure would I would call this a beast. It's definitely a consistent climb that keeps your heart rate up and the elevation gain is significant. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon, but I'm not sure I have it on my list to do again.
It's tough when it's hot since there is no shade at all! It's a great way to train for the actual Mount Whitney!
I hiked this trail again yesterday and it took me 3 hours total. There was someone jogging both up and back and it took him only an hour. The half way point is at the flats about 1/4,mile past a gate. There's a steady incline all the way to the top. Almost 10 miles up and back and a great workout.
I hiked different trail paths starting at Mt Whitney off of a Newhall Road. If you want to hike the trail known as the Beast, it's approximately 9.7 miles round trip. There's not a lot of traffic on this trail. If you want to hike the beast, never have and are not sure if your on the right path, if you see someone, ask them or do the research or you might end up hiking one of the shorter trails and end up at the Elsmere Canyon Trail head across from the cemetery or on another trail. It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get to the top of the Beast and 1 hour to get back. I jogged back real slowly. Other more experienced hikers get to the top much quicker, but I loved it because I'm not an advanced hiker, It was long, continuos climb but no so steep for an inexperienced Hiker like me. Not the most scenic trail but the dirt road was wide, I like wide trails. There was a steady uphill climb and heading back down wasn't so steep that I had to worry I might slip and fall. I had to jog back to avoid hiking too long in the dark since I started my hike so late in the afternoon. I was alone without a phone or headlamp, jogging down was easy with hiking boots. I wasn't worried about slipping except in some of the steeper uneven sections after dark.
Nice fire road trail. Well maintained, and low traffic. My gripe with the trail is the proximity to the freeway and the power lines. You can hear both the majority of the hike, and that took away from my experience a little. Also the "loop" shot me out under the 14 by the cemetery, leaving about a mile walk down a side of a road. I'm sure I could have gone elsewhere but it bummed me out. Nice scenery and a fun uphill workout, but the noise and power lines hurt this hike badly.
A little gem in Santa Clarita: The lower trail goes into a dense oal grove with plenty of shade. As the trail narrows along the creek bed, wild flowers can be seen all about...in July! Lots of animals surrying about in the brush. Only saw two other hiking groups.
Check out Jim's review below. Hit this trail at 5 in the pm on a Wednesday, so crowds were non-existent. A handful of mountain bikers were scurrying up and down. We were looking forward to this hike so we could dawn our headlamps and night hike on the decent. That experience did not disappoint. The transition from twilight to night was fantastic. The city lights of the Santa Clarita Valley were awesome. The trail details call this about 9 miles but we added an extra loop at the top to the Los Pinetos Saddle, making what we think was about an 11 mile RT. All in all the in and out took us about 5.5 hrs. See the photos.
We hiked The Beast this week. We left at 5 pm on a Thursday, so there were no crowds. We saw a few mountain bikers and my guess is that there are lots of bikers on the weekend. The trail is a steady uphill grade and is a dirt road the whole way. We took a short detour to Los Pinettois saddle to use the restroom there and take a break , then proceded to the towers. I have hiked this in the past and it is not the most beautiful hike in town but at sunset and in the dark the city lights are beautiful. Hiking down at night was a blast and very enjoyable.