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

Really loved this hike. The trail itself is really manageable and the terrain is interesting, especially seeing the new growth amidst evidence of the recent fire. The views were great even though it was a hazy day, it just made the canyons look more dramatic. We'd love to come back on a clear day, especially if given the opportunity to watch hang gliders. Nice to know there's a hike like this in this area.

22 days ago

The drive there was a little scary, lots of twists and turns. The trail just pops right out on the side (slim parking) you’ll know the trail head when you see the flying saucer looking graffitied water tower. Beautiful and peaceful hike, not a soul around. There are still a lot of burn areas and rock falls.

29 days ago

Great trail, nice and quiet and good work out!

great winter hike with limited popularity and well kept and accessable trail. Creek was a trickle and easy to pass. Not much shade once you get to the top but still worth the trip.

Kagel Mountain is a popular hang gliding location, though we didn't see any the day we went. :-(

Nonetheless, there are some great views of the San Fernando Valley, the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains, and even a little bit of the DTLA skyline. The trail itself is a wide, easy-to-follow fire road, made (somewhat) more interesting with all the ups and downs on little hills en route to the summit. The summit itself is broad, with a picnic bench, a windsock, and carpeting (which I presume is for the hang gliders).

I second everything the review before mine says! It is a very spooky trail. The trail starts out on the fire road, then gets progressively smaller until it’s barely visible . You have to bush wack through a lot of it because it’s very overgrown. The views are great but I was really disappointed when we lost the trail and had to turn around half way. We looked everywhere for the trail once we got onto the valley floor but it was so overgrown that we couldn’t get through. Definitely wear long pants! If this trail gets cleared I’ll definitely go back! I did love the adventure but didn’t love not being able to finish it.

2 months ago

This was a very spooky (but fun) hike, and not just because the flat got its name from a prospector who was stabbed to death. The day I went, there was haze from the Woolsey fire, the air was filled with acrid smoke, and there were still a lot of dead, charred trees from the Sand fire. I saw a dead rattlesnake, lots of trigger trash, tarantula wasps, and the rusted remains of a VW Beetle that seems to have plunged off a cliff many years ago. It was all very eerie.

If you go (which I recommend!), be aware this is almost like two different hikes: the first, going down Pacoima Canyon, is on an abandoned fire road that steadily gets narrower; and the second, at the canyon bottom, requires a lot of bushwhacking on ill defined use trails. Though there are occassional cairns, I thought it was easier to follow the creek bed, which was covered in dead algae. Next time, I will definitely wear pants. (Not shorts, that is. :-)

When you get to the flats, keep an eye out for the tunnel dug by prospector "Dutch Louie." Quite an adventure.

This is a lovely trail, is best in an autumn afternoon when the sun is not too hot but soothing with a gently breeze , great view of the city

If you are complaining because there too much poop maybe you should stay at home

this hike was not that great not a lot of scenery and not a lot of shade but the panoramic view would have been nice if there wasn't fires all over the place

With an awful lot of bush whacking I made it to proapector Dutch Louie's tunnel. Everything is severly overgrown. Didnt go to Dagger flats. Just turned around at the tunnel

6 months ago

Trail is open again after the fire and in decent shape.

Wish I had read the reviews prior to going. Lots of horse poop along the way, overhead power lines were distracting and unclear trailhead. The only thing giving this a 3 star is the quick elevation gain and it was fairly close to where I had been earlier in the day

7 months ago

Lots of dog and horse poop everywhere. Very dirty trail. I parked on the street for free. Definitely glad that I didn't pay $5 to do this hike. One of the worst hikes that I've done in Southern California. I won't be back.

8 months ago

Area been closed since Sand Canyon fire, 2016. Area is now open, 28Apr18, but trail has many weeds and washouts. I've hiked down to creek but no further yet since reopened.

9 months ago

Started hiking from the street to the saddle back trail, it was really nice! only minutes from civilization but it doesn't feel like it once your going through the mountains, very peaceful!


Great trail run

Monday, December 04, 2017

Lots of horse poop.... lots. Crackling power lines, shooting range gunshots in the distance. With so many great hiking options, this is a crappy trail to hike.

Ps: Did I mention the yuge amount of horse poop?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 mile loop starting from Golden Creek parking lot and onto trail passing Oak Spring and onto Yerba Buena Ridge road, which then I traveled north west for about half a mile and onto a use-trail towards & over bump 2744 until intersecting Golden Creek Trail again. 1629 feet of elevation gain for the total round trip.
I picked up some glass beer bottles, plastic bottles & shotgun shell on this hike.
It’s backcountry when you leave Yerba Buena Ridge road & onto the ridge to bump 2744! Use Cal Topo for route-finding since this section is not maintained!
One can even hit McKingkey & Iron #2!

Nice hike took my 9 yr old son and puppy with my husband but it was tough finding the entrance the first try because it was early and still dark. No traffic but overall nice.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Great hike. Made a loop by going up to Yerba Buena and back down via Gold Canyon/fire roads. Four hours and didn’t see a single person.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

There's a great variety of nature and views, but there's a lot of smog when it comes to viewing the city

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I do not like to be around the electricity towers and there are gigantic ones on the path. Many horse poops on the trails as well. Although I did not complete the whole path, I would not say I enjoyed the walk - hard to do so without green trees. The only plus is the moderate and consistent incline. Good workout.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I really enjoy this trail because I barely ever see anyone else and it's a constant gradual incline almost the entire time. There's a part where the trail goes right to the street and that's where I park along the curb.

Friday, July 07, 2017

This trail is a nice little getaway close to the freeway. Bring water, it gets hot.

Went mid morning and didn't finish the loop do to time constraints but it's a decent hike. Good workout and the views are ok.

Friday, April 28, 2017

There are not many wildflowers on this hike. The grasses by the lookout have turned brown now. Parking is free on the street but you can pay $5 to the iron ranger right after the gate and park closer if you want a shorter hike with less incline.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Came early morning, the start of the trail is through a private ranch. Didn't finish the full loop but got 6 miles worth of hiking in. Definitely not for beginners!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

The route on this page ends at the junction with Gold Canyon Saddle Road. However, the weather was mild, so I decided to extend my hike by taking Gold Canyon Saddle Road to the summit of Yerba Buena Ridge. The road to the summit is in good condition, but Oak Springs Trail is a bit overgrown in parts. That's not surprising, as I only saw two people during the entire time. This is very lightly travelled trail. One of the people I saw was a woman who was repairing the trail close the junction with Gold Canyon Saddle Road. She was out there all alone, but she was enjoying herself. Bless her! The total distance of my hike was 7.7 miles with 2,300 elevation gain.

Monday, March 27, 2017

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