Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

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
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.

hiking
4 months ago

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

hiking
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.

hiking
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

hiking
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.

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

hiking
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!

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.

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

hiking
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

hiking
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.

hiking
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

backpacking
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.

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.

hiking
Monday, August 14, 2017

secluded , no one leaves trash behind and scenic

backpacking
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Would not recommend this hike. There is an actual trail for about the first 1.5 miles and then it just disappears. Throughout the canyon, we had to improvise how to get through thick vegetation and boulder fields with no trail to guide us. We were exhausted after going about a mile per hour with the weight of our packs on our backs. There are better trails in this area to go on.

backpacking
Monday, July 17, 2017

This trail is gorgeous. The water is clear and crisp, and the views along the trail are breathtaking. But I would mark this trail as hard if you are consider backpacking. There is absolutely no marked trail. You follow the creek, which means you're constantly climbing through brush and up and over rocks- which is extremely tiring with 30+ lbs on your back. It took us about 4 hours to go 3 miles.

This trail is gorgeous and the place we found to camp was perfect, but the hike is difficult.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

I would say this is more of a moderate hike and kid friendly if your children are 10+. It's difficult to tell if you are on the trail, also prepare for some rock climbing.

hiking
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!

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