A Historical, Mini Adventure
27201 Pico Canyon Road, Newhall
Directions: From the Golden State Freeway (I-5) in Valencia, exit on Lyons Road/ Pico Canyon Road. Head west on Pico Canyon Road. Nears its end, bear left at a Y and continue to the end of the road. A large parking lot is opposite historic Mentryville.
Mentryville was an oil boom town which formed in the 1870’s and survived into the 1930’s. Over 100 families live in that town until the 30’s. The oil well itself was the longest operating well in the world until it closed in 1990.
The town itself was named after Charles Alexander Mentry who was the Original, Strapping Driller and then became the Superintendent of the oil company. The oil company evolved into the conglomerate now know as CHEVERON.
Mentryville and Pico No. 4 (the oil well) are registered as California State Historical Landmarks.
What to bring: WATER, sunglasses and SUNSCREEN
Waredrobe: Hiking boots or sturdy tennis shoes, comfortable clothes and a hat.
Dog Friendly: It’s a Historical landmark but has a hiking trail behind it so- I dunno!
Kid Friendly: YUP!
EXERCISE LEVEL: Very Easy…beginning for sure! This is a good place for new “exercisers” to start walking around. Let me stress that this is a VERY CASUAL, VERY EASY walk and not the most FITNESS FRIENDLY activity but it’s a good start for someone who has never exercised and wants to start slow. A better choice would be to check out the town and then go on to hike the PICO CANYON TRAIL afterward.
Picnicing: A great place for picnicing!
Wild Life: Mountain Lion Warnings…we saw Jack Rabbits!
Cell Phone Signal: Even if you have T-Mobile
Best time to go: Weekdays- but when school is in, I bet there are a lot of field trips!
Fee: It said $5 but there was no one there to collect so it was FREEEEEE
Length of Adventure: 40 minutes to 1 Hour because I was taking photos.
Can someone say “Little House on the Prairie?”
I was WAITING for Laura, Mary, Carrie, Albert, Grace , Charles AND Caroline to come running down the street to greet us. Swear…
(Admit it- you’re impressed that I know ALL the Ingalls names, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?! Don’t deny me…)
Our ADVENTURE started off like this: I wanted to see this place and hike the canyon behind the town. We gathered up our stuff, threw on our hiking boots, grab some water and headed off. Quite frankly- my back was KILLING me and I didn’t think we’d make the hike but my MIND wanted to…and that counts! Sooo…
We get to the gate and it’s closed with a “Do Not Enter- Construction Area- Danger” sign hanging on it. We followed the road around the town and parked in the parking area that leads to the Hiking Trail. There-we were able to walk right up to the school house, OUTHOUSE, the shack next door and the mining equipment that was scattered about.
My hiking partner Robbie and I headed around the buildings that we had access to and I thought to myself- “Ya know…I don’t think that Park Ranger Patrol Car had anyone in it…” So we snuck over to it to see…
NOBODY HOME! Actually, I think he was in the trailer to the side of the gate, with the air conditioning on (we heard it running), eating Doritos (just speculation) and watching Judge Judy…
So what did I do? I trespassed! (no- I didn’t Officer…I was just kidding! This is not an admission of guilt.) In THEORY….I climbed under the fence and walked up to the 13 room MANSION because I HAD TO SEE INSIDE. Robbie stayed behind the fence because he’s chicken like that!
FYI- Mentryville is supposed to be HAUNTED :)… I took these pictures through the outside windows- nice effect, huh? It’s SPOOKY!
All in all- it was a fun place to explore especially since we were completely ALONE and basically had Carte Blanche of the place…
Now if you even SOMEWHAT know me, you’ll know that I’m a History and Architecture Whore. Having free reign of this place was paradise to me! I only wish I was able to go inside…(Hanukahmas present request #2- a lock picking kit).
We ended up not going on the PICO CANYON TRAIL and taking that hike because a) It was too hot and b) My back was KILLING me.
Exploring was still really fun and we will return to hike another time.
Your Hosts (as of late)…
Rocky on the School House stairs…
Robbie doing what he does best…(just kidding)
Another View of the School House