Worsham Canyon Loop in the Puente Hills
- Location: Puente Hills between Whittier and Hacienda Heights. From I-605, take the Beverly Blvd. exit and go east for 4 miles. The trail head is on the right side of the road (note that along the way, Beverly Blvd. becomes Turnbull Canyon Road.) There is a small dirt parking area by a white metal fence, and a green Habitat Authority sign. From the 60 freeway, take the 7th Ave. exit, go a half a mile south and take a left on Los Robles. Go right on Turnbull Canyon for 0.1 miles, and merge onto Valecito Drive. After 0.8 miles, go right on Las Lomitas, which becomes Turnbull Canyon. The trail head will be on your left at about 3 miles. You can also get to Las Lomitas by taking the Hacienda Blvd. exit on the 60 freeway. Go south on Hacienda for 0.9 miles, take a right on Newton, and in 0.7 miles go left on Las Lomitas.
- Agency: Puente Hills Landfill Habitat Preservation Authority
- Distance: 4 miles
- Elevation gain: 1,000 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – May
- USGS topo map: “Whittier”
- More information: trip report here; trail map here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 6
This is one of the more challenging and enjoyable hikes in the Puente Hills. There’s very little shade, however, so make sure you bring your sun block and a hat. On a clear day, you can expect to see the ocean, downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains, and perhaps even San Jacinto and San Gorgonio. You’re also pretty much guaranteed good views of Baldy and the San Gabriels. The trails are not marked, but they are easy to follow, so if you print out the Habitat Authority’s map, you shouldn’t have a problem.
From the small parking area, climb over the metal fence, or walk up the steep slope to the Elderberry Trail, a fire road that quickly ascends. After gaining 270 feet in less than a mile, you arrive at a junction. Take the left route, which continues to climb uphill (right is your return). The ascent continues, not quite as steep but still steady, and soon you arrive at the Juan Bautista trail. Head right (left takes you back to Turnbull Canyon Road). Note that two other trails branch off here: one that goes to base of the power line support structure, which makes a nice detour for some good viewing, and another which dead-ends almost immediately.
Head south on the Bautista Trail, along a ridge, with good vistas of the Inland Empire on the left and L.A. on the right. At half a mile, shortly after passing some more power structures, look for an unsigned single-track trail heading sharply to the right, descending into a canyon. This is the Worsham Canyon Trail. As you wind your way down into the canyon, you may be pleasantly surprised by how quiet it is. This is also where you get the only shade on the route. At about a mile and a half, the trail starts to head east again, and it climbs up a moderate grade to return to the first junction. Retrace your steps on the Elderberry Trail downhill to the parking area.
Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.