Since I enjoyed hiking in the neighboring Placerita Canyon recently, I wanted to explore the area further before summer gets here. Towsley Canyon Park which is part of Santa Monica Mountains is just off the 5 freeway in Santa Clarita. The main parking lot was already full when I reached the trailhead before 8 am so I parked in the overflow parking area just outside of the park entrance.
The hike starts out on a wide pavement – Towsley Canyon Rd.
At the 0.2 miles marker, I stayed on the road to do this loop counterclockwise as recommended by Modern Hiker when a trail appeared on the left. Then the road passed through the additional parking area. If you are like me and hate hiking on a road, hang in there. It gets better. At the 0.67 miles marker, I met up with the Towsley View Loop trail sign I was looking for. Once I was on the Towsley View Loop trail, I let other hikers pass us so we can take our time and enjoy the surroundings.
The most memorable thing in this section of the trail was the musical sounds of birds. Soon I reached The Narrows – an area of the trail squeezes through in Towsley Canyon. The Narrows was fascinating! It had interesting geological features. It was definitely one of the highlights of the hike.
I love hiking in the morning. The air is clean and crisp. The world is just waking up. It’s energizing and there is a sense of hope and renewal. I tried to capture it in this photo.
About 1.75 miles into the hike, the trail started to climb noticeably and switchbacks started. If you were hiking this area during midday, I imagine you would be exposed to the sun the entire time but early in the morning, I had lots of shade. This is important to note because heat is always a concern of mine when I hike with Xena. I enjoyed the climb and the views.
I also ran into a deer when I reached the top. Unfortunately, the deer saw us first. When I stopped to see who made a noise in the field of wildflowers, the deer turned away from us and with 5 graceful hops, it was gone. It was only about 30 feet away from us! Oh, wow! I was not expecting that! 🙂
Some sections of the trail were steep. I liked that there was an alternative route each time which provided more gradual descent then met up with the main trail.
Good to know:
- Distance: 5.7 miles from the overflow parking lot
- Elevation gain: 1,105 feet
- Difficulty rating: Moderate
- Great geological features – tar pits, sulfur, natural asphalt, and The Narrows
- It has 3 parking areas: main parking(free), overflow parking(free) and additional parking($7).
- Restrooms are available at the visitor center.
- Dogs on leash