Hillside & Manzanita Trail

The Santa Clarita Valley hiking trails in Placerita Canyon are composed of lush vegetation, beautiful views and great picnic areas alongside the rolling hills. This trail is meant for hikers and equestrians. Bikes are not allowed on this trail.

Two years ago, the Sand Fire raged through the Placerita Canyon area and has yet to recover and consequently, Santa Clarita hikers favored trails like The Canyon Trail along with the Waterfall and Los Pinetos Trail are closed indefinitely. However, Santa Clarita hikers possess alternative trails that behold beautiful steep hills within short hikes.

The steep 45-minute Manzanita Mountain Trail is approx. 0.7 miles and is rapidly ascending along ridges and hillsides to the intersection of the Firebreak Ridge. Once hikers reach the water tower, they will have the choice to take the steeper Manzanita Trail or the gentle Hillside Trail.

The Manzanita Trail contains a high altitude into the mountains and can be fairly steep, hikers can expect to encounter black sage that is used to cook, snake flies and honey bees. Snake flies contain elongated mantis like bodies with legs of a fly and the female can be distinguished by the long tail, which is an ovipositor that’s used for laying eggs.

Honey Bees, the great pollinators, consist of extremely rapid wing beats that create vibration in the air that people interpret as buzzing. The vibrations also cause the pollen to shake off the flowers, anther and onto the bee’s body.

If Santa Clarita hikers decide to embark on the second option they will stumble upon The Hillside Trail that is approx. 0.3 miles and is designed as a short, pleasant, yet educational hike. It journeys across the hillside behind the picnic grounds with an altitude rise of roughly 150 feet. Hikers will observe Placerita’s oak woodland and chaparral, a stunning scenery that occupies squirrels and moles.

This beautiful trail holds poison oak, a hidden danger that hikers should be aware of when they begin their journey through The Hillside Trail. Divided into three leaves that resemble various oak tree leaves are coated with oil and coming in contact with poison oak and its branches can result in itching, blisters and overall inflammation of the infected skin area. Poison oak grows in between plants that seem safe which is why it is important to keep pets on a leash. If a dog gets into poison oak, the oil can spread to their owner through their fur because animals including dogs are not affected by the oil produced by poison oak.

When both of the trails are completed, hikers are rewarded with a stunning view of Santa Clarita with vibrant lush vegetation, making The Manzanita Mountain Trail and The Hillside Trail one of the best hiking trails in Santa Clarita.

Trail Location

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