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
LocationLos Angeles County, California, USA
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 in the San Gabriel Mountains, in an unincorporated rural area of Los Angeles County, north of Los Angeles near Santa Clarita, California.

Cultural History[edit]

The area of Placerita Canyon was at one time occupied by the Tataviam Native American people and was included in the 1842 Mexican land grant issued for Rancho San Francisco. 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".[1]

The park is near several movie ranches, all historic and active, including the Monogram Movie Ranch—Melody Ranch and the Disney—Golden Oak Ranch.[2][3][4]

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, Riparian, and Coast Live Oak woodland plant communities are represented, including willows, cottonwoods and native California Sycamore trees.[6]

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 at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall, California. The park, under the name Placerita Canyon Natural Area, is currently managed by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation.[1] 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.[1][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Placerita Canyon State Park". Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  2. ^ [1] www.melodyranchstudio. 'Melody Ranch Studio Museum.' Retrieved 5/15/2010.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2010-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Monogram-Melody Ranch. Retrieved 5/15/2010
  4. ^ Leon Worden. "'Melody Ranch: Movie Magic in Placerita Canyon'". Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2003-03-29.
  5. ^ "Oak of the Golden Dream". California Department of Parks and Recreation. State of California. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  6. ^ "Placerita Canyon Nature Center." Retrieved 5/11/2010.
  7. ^ "Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center". Retrieved 31 May 2009.

External links[edit]