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.
- Location: Off I-5 between the San Fernando Valley and Valencia, at 22945 Coltrane Ave. in Newhall. From the south, take I-5 to the Roxford exit. Turn right on Sepulveda, go a mile and turn left on San Fernando. Go 2.8 miles (San Fernando becomes the Old Road on the way) and take a left on Weldon Canyon. Take a right on Coltrane, drive about half a mile and park by the Newhall Trail Head. From the north, take I-5 to the Calgrove Exit. Head right on Calgrove, which becomes the Old Road, and drive a total of 2.7 miles to Weldon Canyon. Take a right, cross the freeway and take a right on Coltrane.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 5 miles
- Elevation gain: 700 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: October – May
- USGS topo map: Oat Mountain
- Recommended gear: hiking poles
- More information: here
- Rating: 6
The beginning of the climb on the Weldon Motorway may seem like a violation of your constitutional rights, but after a short initial stretch of steepness, the grade mellows out and this becomes an enjoyable hike that provides nice views of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.
At about a mile and a half in, you can take a break and reward yourself with a rest at a viewpoint. Here you get a dramatic aerial perspective on neighboring East Canyon. You continue along the fire road – at this point having gained most of the elevation required for this hike.
Finally, at 2.5 miles, you arrive at a junction where a road heads left toward Mission Point and O’Melveny Park, and right down through East Canyon. In fact, instead of retracing your steps down the Weldon Motorway for a 5 mile round trip, you can descend through East Canyon and return along the Old Road, crossing the overpass and walking along Coltrane, for a total hike of 6.5 miles with 1,300 feet of elevation gain.