East & Rice Canyon
24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA
East and Rice Canyons are home to the Santa Clarita Woodlands’ richest and lushest vegetation. The trailhead provides parking, restrooms, and a picnic area.
A hike on the 3.8 mile East Canyon trail takes one through three species of oak, California bay laurel, California black walnut, and bigleaf maple, up in elevation to a unusual forest of bigcone Douglas-fir. Found at a relatively low elevation, this species is more ideally suited to the climatic regime of 18,000 years ago. The dirt fire road leads hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians on a steady climb to magnificent views of Santa Clarita Woodlands Park and the Santa Clarita Valley. The trail leads into the 500-acre Michael D. Antonovich Open Space Preserve which straddles the ridgeline of the Santa Susana Mountains.
At the top of East Canyon, the trail joins the Marge Feinberg Rim of the Valley Trail where it intersects the Weldon Canyon Motorway and other trails from Bee Canyon and O’Melveny Park.
Rice Canyon Loop Trail is an easy to moderate 1.2 mile trail along Rice Creek for hikers only. The trail crosses the creek several times and wanders through a grassy open slope to a viewpoint. Watch for the natural oil seeps streamside near the end of the trail.
There is a $5 parking fee at the East Canyon Trailhead.
Tags: Year-Round Streams