This Hike in California Leads to an Abandoned Cemetery


For those looking for a spooky and gorgeous experience, try visiting the Hoyt Trail in Los Angeles County. This 4.5-mile round-trip journey takes you through a forested canyon, past a waterfall, and ends in a frightening abandoned graveyard.

History of the Hoyt Trail and Graveyard.

The Hoyt Trail was built in the late 1800s by Charles Hoyt, a wealthy businessman with a vast ranch in the area, and it was accompanied by a family cemetery on a hill overlooking his land. This cemetery was the last resting place for Hoyt’s wife, children, and other relatives, and it was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence with a stone archway with the name “Hoyt.”

However, as the ranch changed hands in the early 1900s, the route and cemetery were neglected. The fence and archway were taken, graves were defaced, and some headstones were removed or damaged. Over time, the cemetery drew thrill-seekers, ghost hunters, and cults who allegedly performed rituals and sacrifices.

The Hike to Hoyt Graveyard

The well-marked Hoyt Trail begins at Big Tujunga Canyon Road at the Wildwood Picnic Area and is easy to navigate, however, there are steep and rocky sections. The route follows Big Tujunga Creek, which provides a lush and shaded habitat with a variety of flora and animals, including oaks, sycamores, ferns, wildflowers, birds, and lizards.

Approximately 1.5 miles into the journey, you will come upon a little waterfall, which will allow you to pause and absorb your surroundings. Following the waterfall, the route climbs for another 0.75 miles until it reaches a bifurcation. The left branch goes to the Hoyt Graveyard, and the right branch links to the Stone Canyon Trail, which provides access to other trails in the Angeles National Forest.

The graveyard, located on a tiny plateau, is about 50 by 100 feet and has around 20 burials. Some graves have headstones, wooden crosses, or metal markings in varied degrees of exposure or sinking. Visitors may also find bones, coffins, and scattered remains. The graveyard, which is most gloomy at twilight or morning, may elicit goosebumps, unusual noises, or feelings of presence. Some people claim to have seen or experienced the ghosts of the Hoyt family or other spirits. Regardless of personal views, visitors are encouraged to approach with respect, and caution, and leave no trace.

The Return Trip

To return to the trailhead, either follow the Hoyt Trail or take the Stone Canyon Trail, which is longer and more difficult but offers more magnificent vistas. This path traverses the ridge above Big Tujunga Canyon, passing peaks such as Mount Lukens, Mount Lawlor, and Strawberry Peak. It also connects with other paths, such as the Colby Canyon Trail and the Josephine Peak Trail, allowing for more exploration of the Angeles National Forest.

The Hoyt Trail and Graveyard provide a unique and interesting journey that combines history, nature, and mystery. It provides an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the Angeles National Forest while also uncovering a hidden and haunting treasure in Southern California. If you’re looking for a trek that will challenge, excite, and chill you, the Hoyt Trail is worth checking out. However, always remember to honor the departed and keep aware of your surroundings.

Final Words

Finally, the Hoyt Trail in Los Angeles County is a riveting 4.5-mile journey through a picturesque canyon that ends with the haunting remnants of the abandoned Hoyt family graveyard. The walk is steeped in history and mystery, passing by a waterfall and highlighting the abandoned cemetery’s somber mood. Visitors are encouraged to approach with respect and caution, enjoying the Hoyt Trail and Graveyard’s unique combination of nature, history, and frightening appeal in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest.

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