Towsley Canyon Loop Trail

#1 of 3 trails in Santa Clanta Woodlands Park

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Towsley Canyon Loop Trail is a 6.47 mile loop trail located near Newhall, California. The trail is primarily used for hiking & mountain biking and is accessible year round. This year (2012) there were many snakes on the trail during the summer months.

This hike has an amazing variety of sites and smells including strange geologic formations, frothy streambeds, tar pits and many different plant communities. The Tataviam Indians used the naturally occurring asphalt for healing purposes and to seal their basketry. At about the 0.9 mile you will encounter a slot like canyon called the Narrows which contains layers of nearly vertical rock formations. After the passage through the narrows stay left, then after another 200 yards stay left again and climb the switchbacks to the left that is called the Towsley Canyon Loop Trail. Topping out at 2450 feet, the trail begins a steep winding descent and includes breathtaking views of lush hillsides and canyons as it heads into Wiley Canyon. Joining a dirt road turn left and head down the canyon. After almost a mile of hiking take the Canyon View Loop Trail to the left which traverses over a summit and takes you back down to Ed Davis Park by the ranger station.

Take the Calgrove exit from the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). Turn west back under the freeway and take the Old Road south to Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon. Drive 0.6 mile west on the graded entrance road to reach the picnic area and nature center. Park your car in the dirt lot to the right and then proceed up the graded road towards the floodplain of Towsley Canyon.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

This trial is challenging, but fun. Most people enter the trial head from the front. The front end of the trial is a steep uphill, but then it levels out into downhill switchback. There are areas to sit in the shade and the area is peaceful.

I typically take the back way because it's a longer uphill run.

Overall, I like this trial. I took my kids on the trial and they struggled, but they had fun.

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17 Completed 14 Reviews

I freely admit that I am middle aged and overweight, so I take my breaks when needed on these steep inclines. I went clockwise on this trail to avoid a steep descent and to save the Narrows for the end of the hike......boy did I pay for it. This hill is miserable, but the fun part is that EVERYONE going up it is just as miserable as you. You even die a little inside when you see people coming down and they are grinning ear to ear. When you get to a point that somewhat appears to be the top someone has added a sign that says "no one likes a quitter" Hey, what do you know....another half mile of incline! Once you reach the top you are greeted by a nice view and a welcome feeling of delight.....you descend and now it's your turn to take a perverse delight in the suffering of your fellow hikers still heading up the hill. ****All that being said, nearly anyone can do this hike if they take their time and don't quit**** Counterclockwise would be easier next time, but I doubt I will do it any differently!

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9 Completed 10 Reviews

I hiked both the 5.1 mile loop and the shorter 1.1 hike. Liked both except I found the narrowness of the trail a concern for me. I wasn't worried about me but I had my dog with me and she kept wanting to chase the lizards. I was worried I'd slip and push her over the edge and she'd hang from me holding onto the leash or die if I dropped her. I know this sounds ridiculous like a worry wort but I love my dog, she's my kid and since I imagine the worse I prefer the wider trails. But if I hiked alone this would be one of my favorites. I always include her and since she is skittish and has bitten a couple people, until I become more of a pack leader and can take her off leash, I'll stick to the wider trails. One of the coolest things about this trails is the narrowness, constant uphill climb before you start your descent and the moderate length make it an overall great workout for the medium level hiker.

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14 Completed 17 Reviews

Just did this hike on Saturday. We went clock wise which I think is harder IMO. You get great vistas of the SCV. Also it has 2 tar pits along the way which is pretty cool to see. Free parking makes it a fun hike when you have a couple hours to spare. Trail was in great shape and not much trash which is nice. It's not a hidden gem but it is nice & fun.

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19 Completed 11 Reviews

nice view of scv! kinda dry but nice shade.

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47 Completed 13 Reviews

Towsley Canyon has a lot going for it. Great views, free parking, challenging inclines, tar pits and a unique rock canyon. I usually hike counter clockwise around the loop. The trail starts off simply enough, walking you casually into the beautiful canyon. Then your nice easy walk quickly turns into an uphill battle. The incline is a great workout and very rewarding when you reach the top. A great view looking across I-5 and the Santa Clarita Valley awaits you there. Stop to catch your breath and take a picture or two. The trail then wraps around the backside of the canyon, taking you across tar pits and eventually down to a stream and rocky canyon. After another .5 miles or so you will find yourself back where you started in the parking lot. Towsley Canyon is a great loop that is a little on the difficult side, but well worth the workout. I recommend making it here during the week, the weekends can get a little crowded.

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

I love this hike! Lots of shade and the paths are pretty clear and not easy to get lost. Did bump into a rattle snake by the end near the gordge but its one of my favorite hikes

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22 Completed 9 Reviews

We like to do this hike midweek after work. Start at about 5pm hit the 5.1 mile loop clockwise through the canopy, down the lower post peak switchbacks, pausing at the opposite trailhead. We then pick up the Canyon View trail just to the right of the gate for an extra dose of activity and it keeps us from finishing the hike on a road. Total trip works out to about 6+ miles. 2.5 hours. I didn't put down the date we did this hike, because we hit it year round.

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5 Completed 2 Reviews

There are two trails at Towsley Canyon - I took the 5.1 mile loop clockwise facing south (started at the switchbacks and ended at the narrows). Great hike, very demanding. The ascent and descent are both very steep. Views of Santa Clarita valley are fantastic. The trail winds through open as well as canopied areas. There are two places along the trail to stop (one at the summit, and one at the bottom of the switchbacks). Trail was not too crowded - I hiked on a Saturday (over Thanksgiving) and encountered a number of folks - lots of dog-walkers and some runners. This is a great trail for birding too - saw several Calif. Towhee and a number of flycatchers. Weather was noticeably warmer once you get to the south side of the mountain. Narrows were pretty neat - slate formations jutting hundreds of feet up along a fairly narrow trail. I also experienced some type of frothing hot spring, two tar pits, and, towards the narrows, significant sulfur smells. I took two short breaks along the trail for a total hike time of about 2.5 hrs.

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