Saturday March 26, 2016 - "Figure of 8": Elsmere Canyon, the Waterfall, Refinery Grapevine and New Elsmere Hike
Distance: ~ 7.5 miles
Gain: ~ 900 ft.
Rating: Moderate ++ /Somewhat difficult in places (due to total mileage and reasonable gain) This is not one for Beginners, you need to be in good condition to enjoy this hike).
This hike, right here in Santa Clarita Valley, can be done in a number of ways but this time we are going to try a new one!
We will go up the center of the canyon and go see the waterfall. Then it is back on to the main trail and a zig-zag back through the center of Elsmere, past an interesting "peek a boo" rock, then it is down and along Refinery Grapevine by the 14 Hwy. and up, up, up to an overlook of the I-5 and SR-14 interchange. Then it is back to the beautiful higher meadowed regions of New Elsmere, down some country laneways and eventually through Old Elsmere and back to the parking lot.
This route takes us in a big Figure 8 and is a new way to do the Elsmere Canyon area. You will see the entire Canyon, the new Elsmere purchase, and the new waterfall trail. (There may not be any water in the waterfall unless we’ve had recent rain). Elsmere is usually rated easy, but this particular route has some added hills, and is much longer, so plan time accordingly!
From Valencia , take I-5 south to the SR-14 North toward Palmdale.
From San Fernando Valley, take the I-5 North until it splits in a Y into the 5 North and 14 North, stay to the right for the 14 North (Palmdale).
Once on the 14, take the FIRST exit, which is Newhall Avenue. The exit ramp splits left and right. Take the right lane and when you get to the stop sign, turn right. That will take you into the Park and Ride, where you will park. Parking is free here and if it is full, go through the gate at the end/ left into an adjacent parking lot down the hill. We will meet at the green gate between the Park and Ride and this parking lot.
Meet: At the Park and Ride at the end of Newhall Avenue, just east of the SR-14 freeway at 8:00AM for an 8:15AM SHARP departure. Please be prompt!
Bring: A minimum of 2 liters water, preferably 3, lunch/snacks, hiking poles if you have them, hat and Sunscreen and wear good boots with lots of tread.
Adventure Pass: Not needed
Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well behaved around other dogs and people with poles.