East Canyon and Rice Canyon Trail

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Santa Clarita Woodlands Park

East Canyon and Rice Canyon Trail is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Newhall, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,420 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful I loved

hiking
27 days ago

For a full review of this trail, please check out my video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sss7bqLB8Gw To see more trail reviews, please click this link to subscribe to my channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSnBYnWYktiqxynCwGrak1Q?view_as=subscriber I hiked this trail on May 9th, the first date that the CA state parks reopened. The trail is a moderate to difficult 6 plus mile hike. There is a horse stable on the right hand side as you begin hiking the trail, which starts off gently to the north. There was a downed tree blocking the trail when I went there. About 1/2 mile in, there is a split with the Rice Canyon trail. But, since the Rice Canyon trail was so overgrown, I stuck with the East Canyon. The hike continues up gradually with only 150 foot elevation gain during the first mile. There are also two stream crossings, which are not currently flowing heavily. The trail picks up elevation fast once you hit the switch backs at 1.2=1.5 mils. There is a good amount of shade during the hike that makes it more bearable. The hiker is treated to nice views of the adjacent ridges, including Towsley Canyon. During the course of the hike, it is likely that you will hear some popping from the nearby firing range--but don't worry, you aren't really close to the shooting! At about the 2.5 mile mark, the trail splits off again, with one fork going to the east (left) and the right fork continuing upwards. There are no trail signs marking the junction. If you turn left, you will find yourself on the Weldon Motorway, which leads all the way back to the Old Road (I would not recommend doing this as a loop because you are going to wind up walking along a 4 lane highway for about a mile to return to the parking lot). About 1/2 mile later in the hike, the trail flattens out and there is a saddle to the west. The end of the trail is somewhat anti-climatic; there is a fenced off area and a gate blocking the trail with no trespassing signs. There appears to be some sort of communications site within that blocked off area. At this point, the trail continues down the other side of the hill towards the Mission Peak trail, which is another 2.5-3 miles away. I will review that hike later! Here is the link to my video if you want to see me actually hiking this trail! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sss7bqLB8Gw

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

*****BEWARE***** This place is full of TICKS. Otherwise an amazing trail. Be careful, wear pants, and do a serious tick check before you get in your car.

Nice trail. Dog friendly and the view is great. Best to go spring when everything is green.

in the rain beautiful

hiking
blowdown
bugs
flooded
icy
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
snow
washed out
2 months ago

**** TRAIL IS DANGEROUS **** This is the Rice canyon side. The first crossing is rushing whitewater, what do you expect on a day that had 9 inches of rain/snow? Right after the first crossing is a fallen tree that is all slippery and even had some frost.... it was 34 degrees on a Monday morning. At the second creek crossing there was a moderately washed out section, still raging water. The next crossing was ok. There was a log in the bushes that I crossed, all in leafless poison ivy. The large wash out is at the forth crossing. Waterfall eroded the trail. Forged my way up a tributary of the creek and got back to the trail somehow. Keep in mind that I have hiked Mt. Whitney and many 14’ers over 5 times. I am a pretty experienced hiker. Later some more small creeks were in the menu, maybe 7 small streams. I lost the trail at about 1.1 miles and bushwhacked another 1.2 miles to an abandoned oil pump. No idea why it was up there. It appeared that I was right under the East Canyon service road. My GPS (don’t always trust the GPS!) leaded me up an abandoned road. I tried to get to the road, but no luck. It was almost 3 pm by now and I knew that I only have several hours to get back. I backtracked a little, got stuck at a drop off. Right here I was surrounded by dense firs, oaks, even a couple of sugar pines. I sat for a few minutes, trying to think where to go. I looked at my map again and decided to just huff up the canyon, about 1300’ of gain in 0.6 miles. After 2 more painstaking hours of bushwhacking up the canyon I got up to a fence. Crap. I climb the fence and see a few people there. I asked which way is Santa Clarita. They said sorry, this is private property but we’ll give you a lift to the east Canyon road. (There’s sleet falling) They gave me a lift and I got back onto the service road. It’s about 8 pm now and I still have 3 miles to go. Yikes. I make it back to the car at 10:20 pm, all in scratches, cuts, and forest debris. I hiked about 6 miles, with a 2 mile lift (thanks construction workers!) That’s it. Avoid this trail for now. It’s washed out.

Rice canyon, beautiful, a few wildflowers, water in the streams... Easy, quick hike

Big ol’ rattler almost got me! Hoowee!

4 months ago

Great weather today! The trail is mostly shaded, some water crossings, and nice scenery all around. I followed the Rice Canyon trail, which doesn't include the steep incline like East Canyon. Overall, great trail!

hiking
4 months ago

Wow these trails are so pretty. The Rice Canyon trail is a easy hike with creek crossings. It feels like your in a enchanted forest. Now East Canyon is your incline trail. However it’s really gradual and as you get further up the trail it becomes more of a forest setting. Rice Canyon is a single trail that is easy that follows a creek and plenty of wildflowers and trees. East Canyon is a gradual incline in a fire road with fur pine trees and Mountain View’s...

hiking
muddy
6 months ago

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

Good hike :)

hiking
8 months ago

well this was an okay hike at best not much to see the creek was pretty much dried up which caused a lot of bugs to show up we tried both branches East Canyon Trail and Rice Canyon Trail and they're pretty similar we did see a couple of deer however

hiking
over grown
9 months ago

An excellent day hike. Went east cyn to Mission Peak. 10 miles and change round trip. East cyn is a beautiful hike. Easy constant elevation gain. It is over grown in spots but easy to follow. Weldon Motorway while east cyn tirs into is a cleared fire road. Easy to follow. Worth the effort. Watch for snakes. Saw a big one sunning on the path. Enjoy!

nature trips
bugs
bugs
muddy
muddy
over grown
snow
snow
11 months ago

Rice Canyon Trail Review; *****snow was the closest thing I could find for sand**** Very nice trail, although the weeds are starting to overgrow the trail at about 1.3 miles, like I mean nearly BUSHWHACKING right before the summit. The paid parking was nearly full on this past Saturday Morning, but Rice Canyon only had about 3 hikers. East canyon was kinda busy (only went to the meadow at about 1.4 miles) There is street parking, which is were I parked! 5$ saved for a burger at in-n-out! When we forked into Rice Canyon the trail was slightly overgrown, but once we made it into the canyon stuff changed. When we entered the canyon, there was a deer drinking from the brook, so cute! We heard birds chirping, even heard an owl, even though it was already 8 a.m The brook was flowing nicely, with stones laid out for easy crossing, although I could see the water level was like 6 feet high, I am 5’6 So this probably was pretty dangerous during the rainy season. Then we went into another meadow, with rabbits and gophers running around. We passed by a nice rope swing, probably about a month ago the bottom was submerged (it was like a few inches from the water. That area had a ton of mosquitoes, due to this pond that formed by a fallen branch, essentially damming the brook off. Then we went into another stream crossing, this time we used a little branch to cross over. About 100 yards away was another stream crossing, but there was a bee hive in one of the rocks, and best of all, FROGS!, there were so many frogs, that we were sitting there. Despite the bees there were a couple other hikers dipping their feet in the ice cold stream. Then we continued on, passing multiple small side paths that the family enjoyed, one of them went up a small side canyon for about 1/4 of a mile, ending at what would be a 10 foot waterfall in the wet months. This is where it was sandy. Next we went parallel to the stream and enjoyed some flowing water sounds! Then the trail went though a fallen tree, that when looked at the right angle, looks like a perfect heart. We found some of the main trail to be washed out, ending up in a poison Oak field. And then we started going through meadows, before climbing about 450 feet according to my Apple Watch. East canyon was a dirt road to the top, BORING compared to Rice Canyon.

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