Explore the most popular mountain biking trails near Castaic with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Road ends at the closed gate and theres a 1.8 mile walk to the trailhead. Very buggy, but the view at the summit is well worth the steepness. Theres a lovely fire lookout with a box of bottled waters waiting for you at the top. Lightly trafficked but the rangers are super nice.

4 months ago

Parking requires a "Discovery pass". I did not have one but Thomas the Ranger was nice and let me through 'just this once'. To get to the trail head I had to walk a mile and a half down a hot unshaded asphalt road (3 mi round trip). Once you reach the trail head it's all uphill. I started in the middle of the day in hot September. It was 89° when I started and climbed to over 100 during my hike. I abandoned the uphill climb after the 1st mile and got into the creek to cool off on my way back to my car. There were some pretty views of the reservoir as I climbed. This would probably be more fun if you did it in the cooler months and or started much earlier in the day.

***Do not follow Google Maps...input Frenchman’s Flat Campground to GPS and start from there***

Best hike I’ve done around LA! Park at Frenchmen’s Flat Campground and walk along paved road to trailhead. Paved road runs along Piru Creek where you can do some trout fishing. Steady climb from trailhead to peak. First half is unspectacular, but once you hit 2,000 feet the surroundings are awesome-amazing views of layered mountains on one side and Pyramid Lake on the other. Temperature cools significantly as you climb higher. There is an awesome fire lookout at the peak-go up on the roof for an amazing 360 view...felt like I was in a National Park. There’s also free bottled water at the fire lookout. Round trip this hike is about 10 miles-I was very tired afterward. I hiked this trail beginning 3:30 pm on a Saturday and was the only one on the trail. Interstate 5 is visible but not audible for most of the trail.

Not too steep and not too long. Saw an owl and a hawk. Had the whole trail to ourselves on a Saturday morning. A bit over grown but we enjoyed the views of the lake.

trail running
7 months ago

Not bad once you get past the fire road and reach the first tower. After that it’s nice trail running with views of pyramid lake at a distance. I brought both my dogs but I don’t recommend for dogs. Keep them at home this terrain isn’t good for their paws. Remember you have shoes on and this trail is long. The further in you go the rockier it gets. Have fun, be safe and keep it clean out there!

trail running
7 months ago

I’ve been doing this trail for the last 5 Saturday’s. I usually start at the closed road and park there for the extra mileage and run warm up. Yesterday’s run was amazing it’s my first time seeing anyone at the top fire look out. Since I usually start at 6am it’s probably the reason why I never see anyone on the trail or at the top. Great intense hike/run to the top. I wish I could run it to the top non stop but it’s not easy. You can hike all day and it’s fine but if you’re running be prepared for a great workout. I don’t usually drink water until I reach the Top and even then I only use 16 oz. at the most before dashing down the mountain. It is super cold early morning especially at the top and sometimes visibility is very foggy up there. Once you pass the 2.5 mile marker be careful if you are alone on a foggy day. It’s easy to lose your footing and eat it up there. Especially running down! On a clear day like yesterday the Views were Spectacular! Picture worthy so I will post a couple for you. Don’t ruin this location! Some areas are single man trail so heavy traffic will ruin the intensity of running down or up. Keep it clean also! This trail is truly well maintained some areas at the top of the trail are starting to look over grown so I’m concerned for fire season. Just FYI.

on Slide Mountain Trail

8 months ago

Isolated, lots of birds chirping and wildflowers. Great views.


do not go here as it is fenced off with very big Posted No Trespassing signs

Now this trial is on the hiking area's PRIVATE PROPERTY Do not go here as it is all fenced out and marked with signs

9 months ago

Excellent moderate hiking trail once you get to the trail head. Beautiful views from the summit but can get very windy.

9 months ago

While I love poking at the fringes of the Sespe Wilderness, I thought this trail -- about 3/4 of it paved asphalt -- was a bit dull, despite the nice view of Piru Creek and Lake from the lookout. If you're traveling to get here, I would suggest Slide Mountain or Townsend Peak (listed in Alltrails as Canton Canyon) instead.

9 months ago

Drove up highway 99 until the closed gate at the Frenchman's Flat Campground. There was parking there. Then walked down the closed highway 99 1.6 miles to the trailhead. There is no sign at the trailhead, just another closed car gate. It was all uphill from here. Took me and the dog 2 hours to reach the top from the trailhead going at a steady pace. It was a cloudy day with a nice breeze. There was almost no shade. I would not go on a hot sunny day, but I would come back in cooler months. Enjoyed very much, took 4:45 total car to top and back

I had the dog, so the three miles of round trip asphalt on HW99 would be undoable if the midday summer sun was blaring on that road.

9 months ago

I agree with Ryan Cantwell's review: best to leave your pup at home. My companion on this hike was a GSD in exceptional condition, and we still took it slow, and he drank 3 liters of water -- and this on a cool day.

The hike itself is great! I didn't mind the extra mileage on the old Hwy 99, as there were nice views of Piru Creek. The trail itself is a moderate, steady, and unrelenting grade to the top, with spectacular views of the Sespe Wilderness, Grapevine Pass, and Pyramid Lake.

Best part was the fire lookout tower on top, and the nice conversation with the volunteer. (Hi Evan! Rocket says thank you for making him a member of the "Order of Squirrels," though he suggests awarding an actual squirrel.)

10 months ago

Gate was locked. Posted signs warned to bring an Adventure Pass, but I chanced it and didn’t get a ticket. Took about four hours from the gate to the peak and back. Walking on the road was cool, especially considering it was part of the old U.S. Route 99 before they dammed Pyramid Lake. The trail is moderately steep and strenuous most of the way up. The first vista when you hit the ridge and can finally see west is impressive. I think I enjoyed it more than the peak itself, which includes more man-made scenery than I prefer. Decent hike.

It was a cool experience

Beautiful trail and views. The road was closed about 1.5 miles away from the trailhead as of today Feb 23rd, 2018

11 months ago

Road was still closed as of 27JAN2018 so you'll want to factor the extra mileage it adds on, but that being said, the extra 3 miles and change will probably be the easiest part of the hike. Moderately difficult but you're rewarded with incredible views and the trail does a great job of surprising you with a few of them. Early on a chilly Saturday morning I was the only one on the trail so it can be super peaceful. Highly recommended!

Pretty boring hike— felt a little industrial and not much vegetation, but the lake views were nice.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Not an easy trail, hiked in off season, so road was closed (why..) so it was even longer. Amazing views.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A nice steep climb to the lookout tower with great views of Lake Pyramid and Castaic. Very exposed so you wouldn’t want to hike this on a hot day.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

We were almost the only ones doing the trail. Up at the fire tower there were 3 volunteers , very nice and welcoming who took us in and gave us a comprehensive explanation.

Good views of Castaic lake along the trail. Limited shade and can get very hot during the summer. Not too busy most days. There are some steep sections of trail so I recommend bringing trekking poles. I wish the trail circled the lake instead of climbing steeply and returning to the boat launch. Well maintained trail.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Gate was closed so hiked ended up being 11.3 miles if you include the distance on road each way. The road part isnt spectacular but the views as you get higher are what make this hike worth it!! As you walk up the road just watch you mileage so you are aware of the trailhead on the left, its not well marked. I was happy with how well maintained trail was for being so low traffic. I was the only person out there this morning besides the fire lookout volunteer. He was awesome and it was fun to learn about the fire tower's history and function. Great 360 degree view up there!

Great adventure trail! There isn't a lot of guidance as far as where the trails begin, end, or which forks in the road to take, but that's part of the adventure.

Nice scenery and view. Peaceful trails too! There is a fairly consistent view of the lake, which is nice as well. $11 parking fee though, which sort of sucks.

Ideal for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. We took dogs, but if you take dogs yourself, I recommend bringing ample amounts of water. There aren't a lot of places to refill bottles.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I do this trail for the Angeles fire lookout association and it's not an easy trail. I do not recommend bringing your dog or kids. bring plenty of water. I'll say it again. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME FOR THIS TRAIL.

Friday, June 02, 2017

I'm not sure when the "off-season" is, but I tried doing this last weekend with my dog and was not expecting the gate to be closed. It was 93 and super sunny so the pavement was very hot. We walked about a mile in before turning around because I didn't want her get blisters. The scenery wasn't that impressive either. There are so many great hikes within a short drive from this one.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Somewhat challenging climb in the hot heat but definitely DEFINITELY worth the view at the top! Bring lots of water! The trail has been freshly cut back too :)

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nice hike right off the highway. If you plan on doing this hike in the "offseason", then note that the road is not open all the way to the trailhead, which adds a little more than 3 miles roundtrip to your adventure. The grade is steady, and you'll have nice views of the mountains and Pyramid lake as you climb. Take all your water with you, as you wont find any along the trail.

The trail was nice, great views. But it was very isolated we were the only ones on the trail the whole time.

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