7 Secluded Hiking Spots Near CSUN
Text and photographs by Taylor Clayton, Amanda Reveles and Rozalin Asgharzadeh
Life as a college student can be stressful. If you are looking for some leisurely activity to pass the time, why not go on a hike? Maybe you and your significant other haven’t been able to be alone for more than five seconds due to your weird roommate who never leaves, or you are just searching for a new adventure. Either way, there are plenty of options near campus for an escape in nature
Aliso Canyon Park
Located in Granada Hills, this trail is just five minutes away from campus and is practically a walk in the park along a nice mellow creek. There are a couple of options as far as which path to take — some trails are on the shady side while others have you trekking directly in the sun. If you choose to stay on the main path, you land directly next to a nice rock bed at the bottom of the hill, which is a perfect spot to relax.
Located in Thousand Oaks off the 101 freeway, this place has a moderate trail that leads straight to a waterfall and numerous spots along the river to explore. It is a dog friendly park as well, with a large field to run around in. The hike is two and a half miles long, there and back.
This state park, just off the 101 freeway in Calabasas, is 8 miles of pure exploration. This site was also used as a filming location for the popular television series M*A*S*H and provides a sense of adventure. There are mountains to climb with breathtaking views as well as a lake at the end of the trail. This is the place for long, strenuous hikes. Trail maps are available at ranger stations near the entrance of the park.
Franklin Canyon Park
This historic park rests on 605 acres between the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills. Along with more than five miles of hiking trails, the park offers grasslands, oak woodlands, a three acre lake, a wide duck pond and great picnic spots to take friends or a date. Below are a few trails Franklin Canyon Park provides:
Discovery Trail: 0.3 miles round trip. Beginner — mellow. After a nice picnic by the lake, if you want to take an easy walk through nature this is the option to take. It’s a short walk through the black walnut woodland along the canyon bottom.
Hastain Trail: 2.3 miles round trip. Intermediate — strenuous. You walk toward a chaparral covered slope, which leads to a beautiful overlook of the lower canyons.
Berman Trail: 1 mile to Mulholland Drive. Intermediate — strenuous. This hike allows you to literally walk between the Valley and the West side. The trail is in the Santa Monica Mountains, which takes you from Franklin Canyon to Coldwater Canyon Park and Wilacre Park. Not only is this park a nature friendly place that provides a romantic scenery for you and your partner, it also offers fun activities such as film screenings and full moon group walks.
Laurel Terrace, Your Own Private Trail
This is a public hike in a residential area that can be strenuous, round trip. A couple of blocks away from the locally famous hiking park Fryman Canyon in Studio City, lay a road in the residential area off of Laurel Terrace and Ventura Boulevard, perfect for a free outdoor workout session. Taking between a half hour and 45 minutes, the trail starts at the bottom of the hill and provides a winding upward road perfect for working on lunges. The hike offers a quick workout, but also grants views of mansions in the hills as well as a magnificent view of Studio City and Sherman Oaks from above.
Nestled in — you guessed it — a canyon, Eaton Canyon trails in Pasadena are popular amongst many Angelinos and visitors. This three-and-a-half-mile roundtrip trail will have you jumping over rocks to cross a small river and taking a break amongst the bed of boulders at the end of the journey.
Enjoyed by hikers and climbers alike, Stoney Point offers the San Fernando Valley their own rocky playground. Located in Chatsworth off of the 118 freeway, this hiking destination is not for the faint of heart, with climbs equipped for the more active hiker and a location not too far away from the Spahn Movie Ranch, known for being home to Charles Manson and his commune. Both skilled and casual climbers can enjoy Stoney Point.