Michael Antonovich Regional Park at Joughin Ranch
- Location: Santa Susana Mountains north of Chatsworth. From the 118 Freeway, take the DeSoto Ave. exit. Head north (turn left if you’re coming from the west, right if from the east) a short distance to the end of DeSoto and turn right on Browns Canyon Road, following the signs for Michael Antonovich Regional Park (not to be confused with nearby Michael Antonovich Open Space or the Michael Antonovich Recreational Trail in San Dimas.) Follow Browns Canyon Road for 1.2 miles to a small turnout on the left side of the road, marked with a green Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy sign.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy/Michael Antonovich Regional Park
- Distance: 3.3 miles
- Elevation gain: 500 feet
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Difficulty rating: PG
- Best season: September – May
- USGS topo map: “Oat Mountain”
- Recommended gear: sun hat; sunblock
- More information: Everytrail report here
- Rating: 5
This park’s name may be a mouthful, but it helps distinguish it from the nearby Michael Antonovich Open Space and the Michael Antonovich Trail of San Dimas. This loop explores the lower area of the regional park, which is also home to Oat Mountain.
From the parking area, follow the paved road uphill for about 0.4 miles to a four-way junction. This is the start of the loop, which can be hiked in either direction. Hiking it clockwise, as described below, allows you to visit the most scenic part last. The trail on your right leads to a dead end; the vague looking path straight ahead is your return route. Take a hard left and continue climbing uphill. The trail soon becomes a single-track and arrives at a flat.
Look for a narrow path heading straight ahead into the canyon. You climb for about 0.3 miles more up the steep and sometimes claustrophobic trail, finally reaching a fire road, listed on some maps as the Curacao Trail, about a mile from the start.
Turn right and follow the trail along a ridge. The landscape is dominated by Rocky Peak to the west and Oat Mountain to the north; on the way you get aerial views of Browns Canyon and Ybarra Canyon.
After an undulating mile along the ridge, look for a narrow single-track on the right, heading back into the canyon. (Shortly beyond this point, the fire road is blocked by private property). The trail drops, steeply at first, into the tributary of Brown’s Canyon, leveling out at the bottom, making its way in and out of pockets of oaks. At about 2.6 miles, note the curious presence of a solitary pine tree.
Shortly beyond the pine, the trail widens into a semblance of a fire road before returning to the intersection, completing the loop. Retrace your steps down the hill back to the parking area on Browns Canyon Road.
Text and photography copyright 2014 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.