Text and photography copyright 2010 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. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
William Hart Museum Trails
- Location: 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall. From the 14 freeway, take the Newhall Ave. exit and head west for 1.5 miles and the park will be on your left. From I-5, take the McBean Parkway exit. Go east on McBean for a mile, take a right on Orchard Village Road. Go 1.4 miles and take a left on Lyons. Go 0.4 miles and take a right on Newhall. Go 0.6 miles and the park entrance will be on your right.
- Agency: William Hart Regional Park/Los Angeles Museum of Natural History
- Distance: 1 mile
- Elevation gain: 250 feet
- Difficulty Rating: G
- Suggested time: 1 hour
- Best season: Year round (check with park for hours of operation)
- USGS topo map: “Newhall”
- More information: here
- Rating: 3
This park and museum commemorate the life of former Western actor William S. Hart (1864-1946). The grounds include Hart’s old house, several out-buildings and some animal displays–including bison. And it’s also a good destination for hiking, whether you decide to take the short trip here or go a little farther on some of the back country trails. Wilderness it’s not, but from the Hart house and farther up the hill, you get great views of the Santa Clarita area, the Santa Susana Mountains and the Antelope Valley – especially at sunset.
From the parking area, walk around the barnyard and the trading post to pick up the Nature Trail, which climbs up the hill. Head past the bunk house and pick up the Bison Trail, which soon meets a paved road where you can look over the fence and see a herd of buffalo relaxing on the hillside. Head left and continue up the hill to the mansion, where you can stop and look around for a little while.
Past the mansion, a dirt road continues up the hill. After a short climb, you come to a flat area with two hitching posts, where you get a nice panoramic view. That is this hike’s turnaround point (half a mile from the start), but you can easily extend your trip by continuing farther up the fire road to access some of the back-country trails.