Placerita Canyon State Park

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Placerita Canyon State Park
Walker Cabin.jpg
The restored Walker Cabin at Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Map showing the location of Placerita Canyon State Park
Location19152 Placerita Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, California 91321
United States
Coordinates34°22′33″N 118°26′45″W / 34.37583°N 118.44583°W / 34.37583; -118.44583Coordinates: 34°22′33″N 118°26′45″W / 34.37583°N 118.44583°W / 34.37583; -118.44583
Governing bodyCalifornia Department of Parks and Recreation

Placerita Canyon State Park is a California State Park located on the north slope of the western San Gabriel Mountains, in an unincorporated rural area of Los Angeles County, within the city of Santa Clarita's sphere of influence.[1]

Cultural history[edit]

The area of Placerita Canyon is still occupied and the ongoing homeland of Tataviam Native American people that was temporarily included in the 1842 Mexican land grant issued for Rancho San Francisco, which dissolved 8 years later with California statehood inside the United States. The park preserves the site of the first documented discovery of gold in California where in 1842, Francisco Lopez found gold flakes on wild onion roots under the "Oak of the Golden Dream".[2]

The park is near several movie ranches, all historic and active, including the Monogram Movie Ranch—Melody Ranch and the Disney—Golden Oak Ranch.[3][4][5]

Natural history[edit]

Located in the transition zone between the San Gabriel Mountains' California chaparral and woodlands Ecosystem, and the Mojave's Deserts and xeric shrublands Biome in the California Floristic Province, the Placerita Canyon Flora is complex. Placerita Canyon State Park is in the east-west trending Placerita Canyon on the Placerita Fault and contains sandstone and metamorphic formations, and seasonal streams. Chaparral and Coast Live Oak woodland plant communities are represented.

Riparian woodlands at the park include three species of native trees including arroyo willow, cottonwood, and native California sycamore.[7]

The park is also notable for a seepage of 'white' oil - unknown anywhere else in the world. This late 19th century discovery of oil surprised the prospectors because it is naturally filtered so that it is not black but transparent. A small pool of it continues to be active by the trailside leading up from the Nature Center to the Walker Ranch.

The park[edit]

Placerita Canyon State Park is located in unincorporated Newhall, just outside the city limits of Santa Clarita but within the city's sphere of influence.[1] The park, under the name Placerita Canyon Natural Area, is currently managed by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.[2] The Placerita Canyon Nature Center is the park's visitor center and museum. The park also contains the Walker Cabin (a restored and furnished 1920s cabin of the Walker family), and hiking and nature trails.[2][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Completed Annexations". City of Santa Clarita. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  2. ^ a b c "Placerita Canyon State Park". Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  3. ^ [1] www.melodyranchstudio. 'Melody Ranch Studio Museum.' Retrieved 5/15/2010.
  4. ^ "Placeritos Ranch - Monogram Ranch - Melody Ranch". Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2010-09-08. Monogram-Melody Ranch. Retrieved 5/15/2010
  5. ^ Leon Worden. "'Melody Ranch: Movie Magic in Placerita Canyon'". Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2003-03-29.
  6. ^ "Oak of the Golden Dream". California Department of Parks and Recreation. State of California. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  7. ^ "Placerita Canyon Nature Center." Retrieved 5/11/2010.
  8. ^ "Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center". Retrieved 31 May 2009.

External links[edit]