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Whitney Canyon Santa Clara Truck Trail aka "The Beast"

Newhall, California

Whitney Canyon Santa Clara Truck Trail aka "The Beast"

Whitney Canyon: Santa Clara Truck Trail (aka "The Beast") Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Most hikers, bikers and endurance runners regard Los Pinetos Peak more as an obstacle to conquer than a thing of beauty. Neither the 3,864-foot summit, topped with twin communication towers, nor the route to it or easy on the eye. The peak and the pathway up it appeal to our athletic, not our aesthetic, sensibilities. In order to reach the summit, one must confront Santa Clara Truck Trail, otherwise known as “The Beast,” a grueling, unrelenting, unshaded ascent, so named for obvious reasons by members of a local running club. Truly, foot-powered athletics, not aesthetics, draw the hardy to trek or pedal The Beast. Last I heard, the record ascent of The Beast was a run of just under 37 minutes. Santa Clara Truck Trail was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1940s. It was improved during the 1950s Cold War era to service a Nike missile installation."

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Hollywood, CA
Explorer | 31 pts
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6/2/2018
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Friendly Valley, CA
Explorer | 31 pts
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
12/29/2008
There's a reason they call this "The Beast." It's a 4.5 mile climb with little cover. Wouldn't recommend it during the summer, but it's great right now.

Left about 9:30 Monday morning on a perfect SoCal winter day. Clear skies, no wind and warm enough for shirt sleeves.

The trail was still damp (but not muddy) from the recent rains, so traction was good.

The views across the Santa Clarita Valley were spectacular on the way up. A few patches of snow were still visibile on the peaks to the north.

Last month's Sayre Fire stripped the hillsides bare. The most recognizable vegetation are some manzanita bushes that somehow kept their leaves.

Grass is sprouting in places, but otherwise it's still a moonscape.

The view from the top was unbelievable. We circled the radio towers at the summit to take in the panorama.

Looking south, the whole of the San Fernando Valley lay before us. You could follow the 405 over the Sepulveda Pass and see a container ship anchored in the Santa Monica Bay. The headlands of the Palos Verdes Peninsula loomed beyond. Further east, the Downtown L.A. skyline poked above the hills of Griffith Park.

It all felt calm and quiet from our distant perch until a plane or helicopter buzzed overhead. They looked close enough to touch.

The trail seemed busy for a Monday, probably because it's a holiday week. We passed two equestrians, a handful of mountain bikers, and a couple walking their dog.

Pay attention on the way down. It's a steep grade and you don't have much time to yield to the mountain bikes.

The beast can be conquered. It's worth the fight to take in the views.
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Trail Information

Newhall
Nearby City
9.4
Distance
2,700 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type

4 Members Completed

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