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A great workout climbing to good views.

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Out and Back

3,548' 1,081 m


1,431' 436 m


2,117' 645 m


2,117' 645 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

The western two miles are closed from sunset to sunrise.


Locals call this "The Beast". It's almost five miles of unrelenting uphill. The views at the top are good, and any hike that gets you away from civilization is a good one, but mostly this is a workout.

Need to Know

Almost no shade.


Start at Whitney Canyon Park, at the Newhall Avenue Park and Ride lot. From the end of the lot, climb to the right on Santa Clara Divide Road 3N17.9. You climb steadily through scrub up to almost the ridge line, then bear right onto Sombrero Road 3N64 to Los Pinetos Peak. The Sombrero Road runs east to west along the Beast, forming a t-intersection.

There are a few side trails, but the main road is always the obvious choice. If you're ever uncertain, remember the cardinal rule for this hike: if you ever find yourself going downhill, you're on the wrong trail. Also, there are a two points at the beginning where the trail splits off with more mild Elsmere Canyon Loop Trail. The Beast goes to the left on both occasions (one during the first stage, and the second about a half mile up right before the power lines). Another good way to stay on the trail is to make sure that you are hiking east on the way out, with the exception of the "T" intersection at approximately 3.4 miles (~ 3000 feet elevation), which is a right turn and that goes back to the west. At that point, you have the choice of going left or right onto the Sombrero Road 3N64 . If you choose the right, you'll be going downhill into a draw and back up to another peak.

Along the way, you'll have views of Santa Clarita and the adjoining hills. When you reach the top of Los Pinetos Peak, you'll find radio towers and views of Santa Clarita and the San Fernando Valley.

Flora & Fauna

Typical SoCal scrub, some wildflowers (Spanish Broom, Wild Buckwheat, Keckiella), and the occasional deer.


Shared By:

Jordan Brown with improvements by Robert Garnsey

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 5 votes


  3.4 from 5 votes
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in California


175 Views Last Month
9,231 Since Jun 9, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Elsmere Canyon Open Space.
Jun 28, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
The San Fernando Valley... somewhere under that goop. It just wasn't a good day for a view.
Jun 23, 2018 near San Fer…, CA
Trailhead; the trail heads up and to the right from here.
Jun 23, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
That radio tower way in the distance is the top of The Beast.
Jun 23, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
The trail ahead, climbing a ridgeline.
Jun 23, 2018 near Santa C…, CA
Appears to be a memorial for a fallen Marine. The book is CS Forester's Rifleman Dodd.
Jun 23, 2018 near Santa C…, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jul 17, 2019
Argel Cardonega
10mi — 6h 30m
Mar 23, 2019
Rob Wolk
9.9mi — 3h 18m
Mar 23, 2019
Hugo López
Mar 16, 2019
Todd B
Aug 13, 2018
Todd B
To the top 4.8mi
Aug 11, 2018
Todd B
Jun 23, 2018
Jordan Brown
9.5mi — 3h 37m

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