East Canyon

I return to Santa Clarita after several months.  Last time I hiked to Mission Point (aka Mission Peak) via the trails starting in O’Melvany Park.  This time I came down from the other direction, through the surprisingly lovely East Canyon.  The trail is well shaded in the morning hours and a cold wind kept me fresh all day.

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6       5   You can park in the lot next to the road for $5, or you can park on the street for free and walk an extra ten feet or so.  The trail starts up the dirt road next to the kiosk.  All the plants and grasses looked lush, green and revitalized from the recent rain.

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The climb up East Canyon is not terribly difficult.  This lone oak is a good reference point.  After climbing above it, a side trail leads down to the tree.

10   A stick in the dirt points toward close by Oat Mountain.

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Oat Mountain, the highest point in the Santa Susana Mountain Range, with it familiar Orb shaped antenna.

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I hiked up East Canyon Trail to the junction with Weldon Canyon Fire Road.  I continued straight on East Canyon Trail.  I then reached a junction with a road that leads out to Oat Mountain.  The road is closed off by gates and fences.  One could get around if they were truly motivated.  This next section of trail is a little weird as you have to walk through several gates and next to fences lined with barbed wire.

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View of the San Gabriel Mountains.  I thought I’d be able to pick out these peaks as I just hiked there last week.  I can identify Mount Lukens and Mount Wilson in this close-up, but which of those two close peaks is Strawberry Peak and what’s the other peak?

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Looking toward Saddle Peak in the Santa Monica Mountain Range through a rusted gate which opens to nothing.

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Photo 1 – Scars Upon The Land  Photo 2 – I remember the antennae at the top of this mountain from my Placerita Canyon hike.

21     24     25   There’s Mission Point, marked by the fencing on the hill on the right side.  I quickly made my way to the top.

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The San Gabriels from Mission Point

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Close-up on Griffith Park and Downtown LA

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Odd looking clouds look spray painted in the sky.

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On the way back I took several side trails that paralleled the fire road.  I would highly recommend this as the trails are even more interesting than the main trail and all of the side trails I took eventually reconnected with the main trail.  Exercise caution, however, as some sections are very steep and there is some poison oak along the way.  Photo 3 – Snow covered mountain (Mt. Baldy?) in the distance.  Photo 5 – I would only recommend taking these side trails on the way down because of they’re so steep.  For example, at the end of one of the side trails I had to maneuver down this 12-foot drop.

35     36     29   Pine trees and poppies

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I reached the side trail that leads down to that lone oak.  I passed the oak this time and went down the hill hoping it would connect with the main trail somewhere below (it does).

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43   Photo 1 – Looking back up a steep hill at the lone oak.  Photo 3 – Mashed down grassy area means that some animal used this spot for a bed last night.  Photo 5 – I took a couple more fun side trails on my way back.  Good day!

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