Elsmere Canyon 6 Mile Loop

MODERATE 11 reviews

Elsmere Canyon 6 Mile Loop is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Santa Clarita, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
6.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,597 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike on June 24, 2018, a Sunday. Our group started out early at six am as we were expecting sun and heat which never came. The whole hike was met with overcast skies which did not start to break until we were back at the trailhead. The whole loop start to finish was a few seconds under three hours. That was with a group of nine other hikers who hike this area regularly, so there was no chance of getting lost on the trail. We started the trailhead at Remsen street, off the Sierra Highway. Plenty of parking was available, and when we left we were still the only ones that parked there, except for a pick up truck.

Though the trail is close to the city of Santa Clarita, we saw very little trail traffic compared to other hikes. All total we saw five hikers in two groups, and one mountain biker. For most of the journey we were alone on the trail, which made for a pleasant experience. The trail itself is a mixture of paved roads, moderately deep sand ruts, dirt utility roads, rocky footpaths and wide and narrow footpaths. There are several areas where you would have to cross a stream, but the streambeds were dry. I was told in winter they are there, and can be quite large, and somewhat of a chore to cross. There are several switchbacks in the loop, and the loop as a whole has a lot of ups and downs. Our elevation climb was 1,614 feet.

Leaving the trailhead, you walk alongside the 14 freeway on the west side which takes you to an to an underpass which brings you to the east side of the freeway and the loop. We turned left and headed north. The first 2 miles of the loop keeps you keeps you close to the 14 freeway and in full earshot of the traffic sound. In this first third of the loop you hike through what appears to be remnants of oil wells long since capped and abandoned. Some of the rusting machinery is still there. There are a few ups and downs through this part of the hike. At 2.1 miles you start to leave site of the freeway and head further into the bush. This is a well maintained access road, called Santa Clarita Divide Road (according to the map). This is more than likely part of the utility service road network for the many power lines you will encounter during your hike. At several points you cross under the lines and can hear the loud hum of the electricity flowing through them.

At 2.6 Miles we came to a fork in the road with a powerline tower. We took the right fork continuing the loop, which took us into some very beautiful views of the mountains and through canyons. This was the best part of the hike by far as we were in more of a backcountry area than the first part of the hike. At about 4.7 miles we peaked out on Elsmere Canyon Road and then started a descent back to the trailhead. At about 5.0 miles the road is paved again and opens to a view of the I-5/14 freeway junction letting you know the loop is coming close to an end. As you descend, the road takes you alongside the east side of the 14, down back to the underpass and the beginning of the loop. From there we went back under the freeway and back to the trailhead.

Flora and fauna: The area contains a lot of oak trees and other types of trees. The trail is mostly open, so there is little shade. It would be best to tackle this hike early in the day, as the sun is still behind the mountains for a little while. Also present were wildflowers of various colors and many types of scrub bushes. Poison Oak was very minimal. I only saw one plant, well off the trail. As for wildlife, we saw two or three stink beetles on the trail, a red bug I could not identify and lots of ants. The ants were not a problem though. They were too busy working! Also present was coyote scat on the trail indicating their presence, but none were seen.

Pros: Good workout hike with flat breaks between climbs, lots of scenery and views, oak trees, plenty of (free) parking, low amount of trail traffic, trail was very easy to follow.

Cons: Freeway sound and the power lines.

My rating: I gave three stars rather than four due to the freeway and the powerlines. Other than that it was an enjoyable hike all around and I would definitely do it again. If you are looking for a quick hike with a fair amount of cardio workouts between flat and downhill trails, this is your hike.

hiking
3 months ago

It was nice. Very green with flowers. There was a rattle snake though, so that made me nervous for the rest of the hike. But besides that, it was a nice hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Worked out nice for a family walk. Old paved service roads and lots of birds and wild flowers.

5 months ago

I got list several times as it became very confusing. More signs need to be put up. Had to keep going to my hiking app to find my way around. It’s a doozy

trail running
6 months ago

Pluses: Loop Trail, Varying Terrain kept it interesting , Nice ups and downs for a good workout, solid distance, nice views

Minuses: 2+ Miles of it is paved, not comfortable to run on in trail running shoes. Lots of off shoot confusing spots, had to keep looking at app map to make sure I was still on the trail, highways noise in certain spots.

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
Sunday, February 21, 2016