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After visiting with my sister in Santa Clarita, it was time to head home, though not before a short outing to let me stretch my legs. I chose a visit to Loma Verde in the Castaic area, west of Interstate 5 and north of the Santa Clara River and SR126. This region is in the crosshairs of the Greater Los Angeles area's suburban sprawl, with new developments popping up in the formerly rural neighborhoods of Hasley, Chiquito, Villa and Sloan Canyons. Loma Verde is the highest summit in this region of private properties abutting the Los Padres National Forest. I picked a route from the south off Hasley Canyon, driving public (and some collectively private) roads to my starting point at the end of the pavement on Desert Shadow Rd. There are No Trespassing signs along the final portions of the drive, but none along the route I hiked. The route follows a dirt road leading to a junk-strewn property (seemingly unoccupied) in an adjacent canyon to the east, but well before reaching it I turned left onto a use trail that took me up onto the South Ridge. The trail, only occasionally used by equestrians and hikers, leads one to the summit in less than a mile and a half while gaining about 800ft. None of the property along the route has been developed, though one neighbor to the west off Gilmour St has his property fence running right up to the use trail. It was a nice trail with good footing, a mild grade and scenic views. The summit offers fine vistas overlooking the Castaic and Santa Clarita areas. Areas to the west and north show the usual signs of ranching operations, as yet untouched by the spreading suburban developments. I was unable to locate the benchmark at the summit but did find a reference mark dating to 1932. I imagine it was a much brushier affair to reach the summit back then. In all I spent just under an hour on the outing, in and out without seeing another soul on the route or the adjacent properties in the early morning.
This page last updated: Thu Feb 8 17:29:50 2018
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