Elsmere Canyon and Santa Clarita Divide Road Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews

Elsmere Canyon and Santa Clarita Divide Road Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Newhall, California that features a waterfall 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.

3.4 miles
961 feet

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





This is a fantastic nature walk. It isn't too difficult, it provides a beautiful view of SCV, due to it's high elevation, and it even has some semi-wooded areas that provide shade and a different kind of scenery than other trails in the area. The labeling of the trails needs work.

1 month ago

I went on this trail on 8/18/18 for my first time alone for some me time and meditation. This trail does NOT disappoint. It's a real butt buster, and the most exciting part to me was how close to the edge some parts were! I can't wait to go back to this trail!

1 month ago

Great loop close to home, G.Hills. Good workout with ups and downs. Several changes of scenery. Make loop a figure 8 by crossing loop on Creek Trail twice and can get in 5.5 miles. Beautiful summer Sunday morn 9-11 am and saw only 6 people!

5 months ago

Fun little loop. I've driven past this are my whole life and always wondered what was back there. Now I know. The trail was in good shape, about half road and half trail. Right now is probably the best time to hike this trail, summer temps can get out of hand.
Spring is in full effect throughout the canyon with green hills and wild flowers blooming almost everywhere.
The back side of the trail is a little sketchy in parts but its totally manageable.

5 months ago

A little more uphill then expected. Very pretty views of Santa Clarita. I think it’s longer then 3.4, closer to 4 miles.

5 months ago

Had an awesome hike here on 3/29/18. I agree with others about signs being limited on the trail, good thing I had reception and was able to download the map! thank you all trails! .. so we took the Elsemere loop, which led to the fire road, however the road keeps going, which we kept following, until I realized we weren't on the trail anymore, the road continues to the right about a mile up, but we had to stay in the left after I glanced at my phone, it was a nice detour tho, we were able to see some caves on the side of a beautiful mountain.. once we got back on track the views were stunning! everything was so green from the recent rain falls.. we didn't run into a waterfall, just a small flowing creek, still so gorgeous tho!

8 months ago

I loved it. Easy access at right off the freeway, and just 5 miles from home. Yes, you can see and hear the freeway, and yes you can see (and hear!) the power lines later...but we're in LA County off a freeway - what would you expect?! I do agree with those that say it's not clearly marked. We went off course a few times. There are lots of elevation changes - rarely are you walking flat. That made for a nice steady challenge. We ran into a few unexpected relics - foundation of an old stone structure and a few rusty pieces of industrial equipment. Overall, a good way to spend this next to last day of 2017. My finally logged hike was 4.01 miles with a 980 ft elevation gain.

9 months ago

Interesting summit view, but terrible proximity to the noisy stinky highway

10 months ago

This is a nice trail to get a good workout with quite a bit of scenery.

10 months ago

Whoever said this is kid friendly is WRONG. maybe if your kids are 10+ but definitely not if they are any younger. Not well maintained and an all around stressful hike because of it. Loose dirt had me and one of the kiddos fall/slide about 4.5 feet down the side of the canyon.

11 months ago

Signs are small. But the trail is awesome and you get to see a lot of the valley and vegetation. There are a lot of other trails. Will come back.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

First half of trail runs near highway 14 so you're subject to noise the whole way up and views are compromised. This part of trail is a lot of loose dirt and gravel. There's about 800 feet at the top that's nice then on the down side you're greeted by the crackling sounds of huge power lines (awesome!!). The trail turns into a fire road at this point. The last half mile or so is very nice with lots of oaks, cliff views and it finally became quiet. Trail is poorly marked and, frankly, without All Trails I'd be some mountain lion's dinner (A+++ All Trails!!). Overall, not that great and would not do again.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A nice hike close to Santa Clarita. Several elevation changes. Loved the hike, but the location needs better signage.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This is a fantastic nature walk! It really is. It isn't too difficult, it provides a beautiful view of SCV, due to it's high elevation, and it even has some semi-wooded areas that provide shade and a different kind of senery then we are use to in SCV.

Here is the bad part though. The labeling of the trails are HORRIBLE!! I, at least, was kind of left second guessing quite a few times as to whether or not I choose the right path. Alas, at the end, I even took a wrong turn, and ended up walking along the old road. That kind of killed the hiking buzz.

Don't get me wrong though! Great place to hike. I definitely want to go back and get a little more familiar with some of the trails and explore a bit. If you are a trail runner or a mountain biker, man, this place is for you!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

great parking. Lonely hike with not much traffic but came across unmarked trails and dead ends. Lots of huge trees ride on the trails made it difficult to navigate through the trail. You come across some creeks off of the Whitney Canyon Road. Don't stop at the dead end, climb up and there are a couple more . lots of mosquitos and green algae everywhere.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Right off the freeway, so it's easy to find and plenty of parking. Took a little while to get far enough to not hear the cars though. Hike was nice. Easy wide trail. Couldn't find the waterfall though

Monday, April 17, 2017

Was a pretty easy hike.although we did accidentally cut through the creek trail . A ton of bugs this time of year

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Great hike, nice inclines, great views! If you start counter clock wise, pay attention to the catch the horse trail.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Nice incline hike, great views of the Santa Clarita valley .. Caves off in the distance , nice little creek and also saw mountain lion tracks a few days ago while up there..

Friday, March 03, 2017

This is a beautiful and invigorating hike we loved it..... but the signage is a bit confusing. And if I didn't have this app as my backup we may have had turned back. So I hope they get more signage for all the first-timers out there.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Too much noises from high way.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

I would rate this hardish. we did it clockwise. the back side was a bit more challenging due to erosion. love all the old oil well relics.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Nice and shorter option: hike counter-clockwise and when you get to the canyon bottom, just take the canyon back to your car - shady and beautiful! Have hiked this many times.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Very nice trail with some relics along the way. I enjoyed the elevation changes and views of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Two historical landmarks, relics of the past oil activity, ridge trail and onto Elsmere trail, with geocaches all along the way!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Definitely not a trail for youngsters....one end of it is very steep and slippery. I have good hiking shoes and a trekking pole and I still slipped a few times. It's a great workout with lots of inclines and declines. I would suggest using the All Trails App map as the trail is not clearly marked in places. If you miss the U-turn to the right across from the Electrical Towers then you will end up going the long way around (10+ miles). MapMyWalk recorded it as 3.42 miles which took an hour walking at a brisk pace.

Friday, June 06, 2014

This trail probably shouldn't be rated as easy. It is definitely moderate, with long slow climb and short downhill. The view at the top is nice but the trail is exposed almost the entire way and is not very well marked.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What a great hike! Our map my walk app said it was 3.9 miles. It's a really good workout with all the hills. It does get close to the freeway but the view of the Santa Clarita Valley is amazing! The views inside the canyon are equally beautiful. About halfway through you can follow the creek trail SW a ways to a waterfall.

12 days ago

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