If I said I’ve hiked Haskell Canyon Open Space more than 100 times, it would not be an exaggeration. The main trailhead is about a mile walk from my front door, so this little treat of a hike is my mainstay. It is typically my Thanksgiving sunrise hike. Even after 100 times, it still entices me.
There are four main entries to the trail that wraps in a “U” shape around the canyon (marked in blue on the map). The main entry (1) has a small parking lot right off of Copper Hill Road and is marked by a large sign.The trail splits in two directions from this point, one marked clearly to the left, and a small trail off to the right up a very steep incline. The trail to the left will take you into the heart of the canyon over a relatively flat 1.2 mile journey to the crest. Only the last quarter mile is very steep. If you’re looking for a very casual walk in what will feel like a world away from the pace of life, simply turn around when it gets too steep.
There are two more entrances right off of Copper Hill Road, the second (2) is just a quarter of a mile down the road from the parking lot. This entrance is also marked by a sign, but begins to immediately lead up a challenging hill to the crest, as seen above. The hill itself is less than a half mile climb, but if you’re not in shape, it will be daunting.
The third entrance (3) directly off of Copper Hill is a service road that runs along the Haskell Canyon Wash. You can park your car right at the entrance and hike 3/4 of a mile to the beginning of a 1/2 mile severe incline. The hill is pictured above. The first time I hiked this portion, my lungs and legs burned the entire last 1/2 mile to the top. You won’t find many inclines as severe as this one, if you’re going down it, it’s difficult to control your speed. So, if you’re looking for a challenge, this is the route to take.
If, however, you want to hike along the crest and want the easiest route to the top, I suggest route number four (4). Drive up Deer Creek Run off of Copper Hill Rd until you reach the end of the cul de sac. You’ll see a fire road entrance with a gate. There is a path to the left of the gate that will get you to the fire road (shown above) that will lead you 1/4 mile up the hill via switch backs to the crest. While this is the easiest route, it will still be a workout.
The crest trail itself has several steep inclines in either direction, so you won’t get bored on the hike. And because the crest is one of the highest points in this area of Santa Clarita, it is a perfect sunrise or sunset hike location.