This quiet, secluded canyon hike is just far enough from Los Angeles to keep the trails more secluded, but close enough to make it anytime of the week you want. Easily Accessible. Quiet Flowing River. Cool Deep Gorge (spring + fall).

Take the I-5 exit North of Castaic, CA at Templin Hwy. Turn onto Golden State Hwy heading the only direction it goes from the exit, North. When it dead-ends in a few miles at the National Forest Gate, you are at Frenchman's Flat.

You can camp here, or hang with the day hikers. Heading North along the river will take you to some excellent fishing water downstream of Pyramid Lake. For a slightly more challenging hike (the trail can be hidden at times, and there are some rock scrambles) you can head 14 miles south, deep into Piru Creek Gorge.

If you like scenic overlooks, you won't find it in the gorge, unless you make your way up. If you choose to camp, hike in at least 5 miles to avoid day hikers. You'll be deep in the canyon which stays fairly cool outside of summer. The water is spring fed, and flowing from Pyramid Lake. There are some excellent pools to swim or fish in. If and when this drought ends, you can Kayak the creek in the colder Winter months.

Pack List

  • Daypack with standard equipment
  • Ankle supporting boots (there are rock scrambles)
  • Hiking poles
  • Camera
  • Permit for the National Forest
  • Water (unless you purify your own)
  • Tent (if you plan on staying overnight)
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Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

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