Magic Mountain (the real mountain, not the park)
Mileage: 7.5 miles (one-way from Bear Divide)
Roads: Paved but with many rocks on the road
Total climb: 2320′
The road up to Magic Mountain has many spectacular vistas of the backcountry south of Agua Dulce and southwest of Acton. To begin the ride, it is best to start at Bear Divide (about 3000′ in elevation), located at the intersection of Sand Canyon Road, Little Tujunga Canyon Road, and Santa Clara Divide Road. This intersection is about 5-6 miles south of SR-14 on Sand Canyon Road. Take Sand Canyon Road back down (north) the mountain about 1/10 mile until the turnoff for 3N17 (Santa Clara Divide Road). The climbing begins here. The road is fully paved but very rocky in places. After the first couple of miles, you enter the very top of Sand Canyon. The road follows the ridgeline for the most part and switches sides. When on the southern sides, you can see the San Fernando Valley and Pacoima Canyon. Also after the first couple of miles, you can finally see the summit of Magic Mountain, elevation 4,878′.
The last couple of miles carry the brunt of the climb. From the saddle at around mile 3.5-4, you climb another 1200′ to the top of the mountain. Most of that climb will be in the two switchbacks in the next mile. After that, the climb lessens until the turnoff to the summit. Follow the paved road past the gate to the top of the mountain. Finally, after 7.5 miles, you reach the summit. On a clear enough day, you can see everything from the Tehachapi Mountains to the north, Cobblestone Mountain to the west, Mount Gleason to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The summit is also home to a former NIKE missile base, to which two silos can be seen on the northern slope. To return to Bear Divide, just retrace your steps.
For those interested in more climbing and more scenery, Santa Clara Divide Road can be taken the rest of the way to Mt. Gleason and Angeles Crest Highway. It is partially paved to Mt. Gleason, then fully paved to Mill Creek Summit (Jct. Angeles Forest Highway), then unpaved most of the way to Angeles Crest Highway.
This concludes the ride. Thank you and I hope that you enjoyed the ride.
Copyright 2007-2018 by Michael Ballard