Santa Clarita Spin
Placerita Loop Bike Ride
Santa Clarita is the bike-friendly host city for stage 5 of this year’s Tour of California. The pros will cross the finish line here, but you’ll get to see more on a 22.5-mile loop that includes scenic roads used in past tours, along with nicely paved bike trails that the pros don’t get to enjoy. The Placerita Loop is a city-to-country ride that begins with 9.5 miles on paved bike paths. Even during the urban portion of this ride, you’ll catch sight of the mountains that frame the Santa Clarita Valley. The scenery becomes more country style as you turn up Sand Canyon Road, pedaling past horse ranches in the foothills of the San Gabriels. The green ridges of the mountains rise straight ahead. You might expect the ascent to be over as you swing onto Placerita Canyon Road, but the ride throws one final climb in your path before you can basically cruise back down to Santa Clarita. But don’t whiz by too fast! You’ll miss your chance to see the Marshall Homestead Ruins in Golden Valley Ranch Open Space as well as Placerita Canyon. Great Santa Clarita!
TIP: Follow a map of the Placerita Loop provided by Bike Santa Clarita, but switch the starting point to Newhall Park (near mile marker 21), which is just before the start of the bike path and has easy parking and plenty of grass to stretch out on after your ride.
From Newhall Park (24923 Newhall Ave. in Santa Clarita), bike north past the end of Newhall Ave. and turn right onto South Fork River Trail. Pass below Magic Mountain Pkwy. and turn onto Chuck Pontius Commuter Trail, which makes its way east, crossing the river to Santa Clara River Trail. Ten miles in, when the bike path ends, turn left below CA-14, and make a right turn on Soledad Canyon Rd. Right turns on Sand Canyon Rd. and Placerita Canyon Rd. take you into the mountains and back to Santa Clarita. Go through an odd pedestrian gate at the bottom of Placerita Canyon Rd. and make your way back to Newhall Park.
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