Socal - Los Angeles County - Castaic NickNames: #LakeCastaic
Go north on I-5 and turn off on Lake Hughes Road. This turn off is about 5 miles north of Magic Mountain. Turn right on Lake Hughes Road and go about 1/2 mile, the lake is on the left. Parking is available on side streets or you can pay $6.00 to park inside the lake facility. The trailhead begins at the very north end of the parking lot. There is a water tank near where the trail begins. There are many trails systems available.
This is definitely my favorite loop at Castaic. Once in the park continue North along the paved road that eventually takes you to the boat launch ramp. Youíll see a large water tank on your right just before you need to start looking for the trailhead. Just before the paved road begins to climb up to the top you will find the start of the trail to the right. It will be marked with a white gate on the left hand side of the road, and a trailhead marker pole with a small white sign (8-10' high) on the right. Jump on the singletrack to the right, follow it under the trees and veer to the left when the trail splits a few hundred feet up. Just up from that you'll start your first climb (tough). About 8-10 minutes later you'll top out the climb and enter into a picnic area. Stay to the right on the well worn dirt path and follow the fencing until you get to a paved road that crosses your path. This is the road that takes you to the boat ramp. Cross over the road (the trail turns into a fire road at this point) go around the white gate (may be locked) and continue on the fire road. Soon after, the fire road splits - stay to the left. (you can take the fire road to the right as well, but I'll take you along the more popular route to the left). A couple s-turns later you'll find your next climb (oh-boy!). It's a fairly steep grade (still on fire road), and there are a few loose sections that you'll have to navigate around. The climb only lasts 3 or 4 minutes but your legs will swear it lasted 10. As the fire road flattens out on top take the first sharp right hand turn (at this point you'll be about 14-16 minutes into the ride - intermediate rider) Approx. 60-70 yards up from there you'll see a singletrack on your left. Take this and you'll spend the next few minutes winding through the trees with a great view of the lake on the right. This short trail dumps you onto a doubletrack trail. Take a right on the trail and have fun descending the switchback that takes you to the boat ramp. At the bottom, the trail winds around the lake edge and merges with a fire road; this is your next climb. Low gears are your friend, and this one will last approx. 6-8 minutes. At the top of the climb youíll be dumped onto another fire road. You should be about 27 minutes into the ride at this point Ė intermediate rider. Take the fire road to the right and there will be a short climb just ahead. As the fire road tops out and begins to descend look for a singletrack on your right (it will come up just as you begin to descend). The singletrack parallels the fire road and you get a great view of the lake. The singletrack merges again with the fire road near another white (locked) gate, and the road drops to the left. This is a nice downhill run with a singletrack option. The singletrack begins about a 100 yards down just before a large tree Ė take it to the right. Whether you run the fire road or the singletrack, youíll need to look for a trail sign about 4-5 minutes into the downhill run. Youíll see a few large trees on your right just before you find the trail sign. Take this doubletrack trail to the right and this will be your last climb (thank god!) Itís easier than the others, but not too easy, and it will last 6-8 minutes. At the top the doubletrack merges with a fire road. Make a sharp right on the fire road and take a very short climb to the top where youíll see park benches. If you need a rest, this is a great place to do it. Estimated time to the top: Expert / 31-35 min, Inter. / 36-40 min, Beg / 41- 45 min, Couch Potato / 50+ min
Now its downhill time. You can take the fire road, that you last merged onto, all the way down to the beginning of the trailhead, or you can take the singletrack. For the singletrack option, stay just to the right at the beginning of the fire road descent and continue up approx. 100 feet to where the singletrack begins and youíll be looking down over the fire road and a great view of Castaic lower lake. The very first part is a little gnarly but then itís a great roller coaster from that point on. Be cautious on your first ride, there are a few twists- turns Ė and the singletrack is a bit rutted. The singletrack merges with the fire road at the bottom, turn to the left, and 100 yards up youíll find yourself at the beginning of the trailhead.
Beginners generally do one lap, Intermediates do 2, Experts do 3, and ANIMALS do 4.
Loop Mileage: 6.3 per
Alt Gain: 1400í
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 6.3 miles Elevation change: 1400 ft
Singletrack=80% Dirt Road=20%
N2dirt a Cross-Country Rider riding a Gary Fisher Procalibur from Saugus, CA
Enjoy the good weather while it lasts. Castaic roasts your bones in the summer!!!
tonkadog a 34 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a gary fisher cake deluxe from saugus
Enter and make 1st left and go to far parking area where trailhead starts (look for paved ramp at curb on left). Take trail past water tank and make 1st Rt, follow around trees and keep right to singletrack climb. Continue on course to upper lake campground area where you'll cross the paved road. Continue across rd past gate onto fireroad follow to top and look for tracks cutting to rt and back (singletrack that parallels fireroad). Either way you go you'll come to another singletrack (s/t) option that drops down to the lake, runs around the lakeside (~1mi) then climbs back up to the fireroad (f/r). Continue rt on the f/r and look for another s/t taking off on rt that parallels fireroad again. When you come to the gate (end of f/r) bear left onto s/t and follow ~2mi to fork. The trail going rt & up is the "Pro-loop" and will take you to the "Grapevine DH course" which is off the top, just look for the s/t that starts at the bottom of the fist DH. It's a fun DH, rollercoaster like, crosses the f/r once and then terminates at the bottom gate just shy of the trailhead. If you skip the Pro-loop just continue on the left trail and you'll pick up the lower portion of the DH course and end up at the same place.
To make the ride abit longer I went down the single track to the left from the top and then road back up and did the "grapevine" ST (which parellels the fireroad your climbing)
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 9 miles Elevation change:
Jason a 26 year old Die-hard Enthusiast riding a Ancient specialized ground cotrol from santa clarita
Lots of wildlife and a great view of the upper lake at the back of the trail. Watch for Rattlers.
Ride rating: Intermediate
Ride distance: 7 miles Elevation change:
Singletrack=25% Dirt Road=75%
Hack a 34 year old Weekend Warrior riding a GF Paragon from Castaic, CA