Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

***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.

This place is definitely has great runnable terrain for trail running. Soft sandy terrain in a lot of parts with incremental incline the entire way up. Stay on the fire road u til you reach the end and then return back. The way back is obviously faster because of the decline down just watch your footing on the way down because of the fallen rocks. Bring plenty of water and snacks there is nothing out here, no water views of the lake, only mountain and trail. Some parts are creepy if you’re doing it alone.

trail running
2 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.

Parked the car where the road ended. There are barriers so you can't go further. You cross the barrier and go down a paved road.Where it turns to "dirt" there's a porta potty that hasn't been cleaned in ages. You cross a foot bridge and then go about .10 straight until you get to the fork. Then you take a left and you start walking into the canyons. I started at 830 am, not much shade until you get about 1.5 miles in (from where I parked the car). It's a nice, steady incline into the canyons. I saw birds and lizards. About 1.5 to 1.75 miles you start to hear running water. To your left, you can see a stream. At 2 miles in, you come to your first stream crossing. There's about 7 crossings between mile 2 and 3. At 3 miles you walk into the old Cienga Campground. About the only thing left are the pit tiolets which have not been maintained and old campground markers. Gets kinda buggy at 2 miles but I took out a banana, got it wet, and wiped my face and that kept the bugs away, but I might recommend some bug spray. I stopped at the old campgrounds, had a snack and turned around. There was an approx 250 foot elevation gain from the car to the old campgrounds. Loved the hike, felt the burn. Would recommend it.

on Slide Mountain Trail

3 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

4 months ago

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

There is no parking! Everywhere said ‘No parking - smile, you’re on camera’.

4 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.

4 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.)

Beautiful scenery, great trail. Poison oak is filling in parts of trail but otherwise kid friendly and fun

4 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.

Judging from the reviews, this trail seemed pretty simple... however when we got there this was not the case... it looks like the canyon flooded and knocked down a bunch of foliage and trees. Had to climb through bushes and fallen trees just to make it up the canyon. Gates that once blocked the road have been washed up and are strewn off the side of the trail. We started at 6am and after almost 5 hours we had only made it about 6 miles in... you are constantly having to cross the creek... there is no real trail. Would not recommend.

Great hike until you actually reach Fish Canyon. The canyon is washed out and a total scramblers paradise. Unless you enjoy jumping, ducking, and crawling during your hikes; I would advise you to do an out and back to the start of Fish Canyon.

5 months ago

Much easier to park at the county-owned equestrian center, which is open daily from 8 to 5. The trail from the equestrian center to Del Valle Road is pretty nice, with good views of the Santa Clarita Valley and San Gabriel Mountains. Near Del Valle, there is an easy rock-hop across a seasonal creek, after which the trail becomes a glorified sidewalk through residential and industrial areas. Nice short walk if you're in the area and need to stretch your legs.

the map for this trail, and the distance appears to be only about halfway to fish canyon narrows. it appears to stop at Cienaga campground, an old car campground that is rather overgrown, with no facilities. the route here is nice, with interesting geology that I wish I understood. from here you would head North for about 2 miles to get to the start of the narrows. the trail through the narrows is about a mile long with many stream crossings, and beautiful geologic features.

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

6 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!

7 months ago

It starts on the intersection of Lake Hughes Road and Warm Springs road, where you’re met with a couple enormous NO PARKING signs. A few other warning signs later and you’ve crossed over the ROAD CLOSED gate and are on the sandy fire road trail making your way up. An abandoned cement foundation and numerous burnt out trees make it all seem a bit apocalyptic, maybe I’ve seen too many horror movies. The climb is gradual, and pretty easy. Eventually you make it to what at first looks like an abandoned mine, filled with a couple feet of water. Like an entrance into the netherworld. You keep going and a few miles in you start to see some views, of giant electrical transmission towers. The road meanders, no sign of life, and then you see it: the old lookout tower at the top. A glimmer of hope for some adventure and maybe epic views. You finally get there and are met with an odd feel of decay and abandonment. The tower is rickety and rusted out. Climbed it, even thought it was a bit untrustworthy looking, and missing the middle platform. But even from there, your view is obstructed by antennas and shoddily placed manmade wiring. If you kook passed that, well, meh. Upside, absolutely no one was on the trail, except for the very last half mile near the bottom when a couple old timers on dirt bikes hopped the gate and were noisily riding up. Ran half of the trail down so it only took an hour vs the two hours it took to climb. Good workout, not too tough. There are much better hikes to be had.

This trail being rated as EASY must be based on the first half mile of fairly flat and clearly defined single track, but that quickly ends and you find yourself scrambling over rocks in the creek bed, following false trails thru brush, and looking for areas to cross the creek that will not come up to your waist. I kept asking myself if I missed the trailhead and took a use trail by mistake.

With that said, this place is beautiful. Exploring different lines in and around this canyon to extend the hike was a blast! I will go back when I have more time to see if I can get further in the canyon.

7 months ago

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

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.

on Piru Creek Trail

8 months ago

This is a very easy breezy hike. Bring water shoes in case the river is to high to use the crossing stones.

off road driving
9 months ago


9 months ago

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.

Some parts more of a scramble than a hike I went on a Monday at the beginning of October and didn't see another person the entire day. It is more like a backpacking trail in many parts, in the respect that you have to follow kierns or very light tracks rather than a delineated trail

11 months ago

Pretty difficult hike with heavy backpacks. Lots of boulder scrambling, creek crossings, bush whacking and bears! Not much of a trail once you get in except for animal trails. Make sure to learn about the wildlife before venturing in. There are black bears, snakes, mountain lions, blackflies and many other critters. Would be an awesome hike without heavy packs. I believe they require an Adventure Pass to park.

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