How Safe Is Santa Clarita for Travel?

Santa Clarita, United States
Safety Index:
76

Santa Clarita, California, is a little bit city, a little bit country, and a little bit western.

With a nickname like “The Gateway to L.A.”, you can bet there is a lot to do here.

The city is nestled between two major roadways — I-5 and Highway 14, and is divided up into four unique regions:

  • Valencia
  • Newhall
  • Saugus
  • Canyon Country

It’s also tucked into the east side of Angeles National Forest and south of Castaic Lake State Recreational Area.

The city has seen more than 52,000 people call it home in just the past decade, leading to a construction boom and new activities added to keep up with the growing mass.

The average income is almost $100,000 with home prices averaging $500,000.

There are hotels spread throughout the community to give better options for visitors.

Whether you want to hike all day, walk in the footsteps of Western stars, shop ’til you drop, ride a roller coaster at a theme park or explore museums, there’s an option for everyone.

All this packed into a city ranked as one of the safest in the nation.

Warnings & Dangers in Santa Clarita

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

There's a low overall risk. Crime rates are low. This is a large, dense urban area with a lot to do and little worry while doing it.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

You've got a low risk in any of the transportation options in town, but having a car is ideal. Santa Clarita Transit can get you around town and to some popular areas in Los Angeles. Taxis and rideshares are also available.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

There were just two reports of purse snatching in 2020, so there's a low risk here. No pickpockets were reported.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Santa Clarita was devasted by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and has been impacted by numerous wildfires over the years, giving it a medium risk. Landslides and flooding are risks here too. While the city normally has pretty nice weather, the bad things that can happen are pretty serious.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Just 71 robberies were reported in 2020, giving it a crime rate that's almost 1/3 of the national average. Your car is more likely to get mugged than you are.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

It's going to be in the medium-risk area associated with any city in the L.A. Basin. It might feel a world away from Los Angeles, but it's just 30 miles northwest.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Overall, the risk is low, but there is one scam that stood out on the list. It's called "The Blessing Scam". Scammers prey on your religious beliefs and ask for items of value to "bless" them. They place the item in a bag, perform a bogus ceremony, and then hand back an empty bag while taking the valuable item with them. Don't fall for this or any other scam that seems too good to be true.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

The low crime rates here are a good indicator that it's safe for women to travel here alone or in groups. There are plenty of accommodations and attractions geared toward women travelers as well.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Santa Clarita has safe drinking water that meets or exceeds all standards. There's a low risk of using it and the city has had no health violations recently.

Safest Places to Visit in Santa Clarita

Old Town Newhall is the historic downtown area.

Here you can see popular film locations, historic homes, and plenty of shopping and eateries.

There’s a self-guided walking tour through the Newhall Walking Tour app.

Don’t forget to take a stroll down the Western Walk of Stars.

If you’re visiting in spring, you might get to attend the Cowboy Festival.

Six Flags Magic Mountain sits on the outskirts of town, and the newest attraction is the Wonder Woman Flight of Courage roller coaster.

There’s so much to do at this park, you might forget about the theme park centered around an animated mouse and his princess friends in Los Angeles.

Any direction you look in Santa Clarita, there’s an outdoor adventure waiting.

Some of the top outdoor spots include:

  • Castaic Lake State Recreation Area
  • Placerita Canyon Nature Center
  • Golden Valley Ranch Open Space
  • Santa Clarita Woodlands Park
  • Pico Canyon (home to one of the longest-lived oil wells in American history)
  • Rocky Peak Park

At McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, you’ve got shopping and dining options on three corners of the intersection.

Westfield Valencia Town Center and the River Oaks Shopping Center are two of the busiest retail areas in the city.

To cool off on a hot summer day, visit The Cube ice rink for a skate and a sandwich.

You’ll definitely need good walking shoes for anywhere you visit in Santa Clarita, as you’ll spend a lot of time on your feet.

If you are going hiking, bring boots to protect your ankles from injury, poisonous plants, and snakes.

Placess to Avoid in Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita is shaped like a “V”, and crime maps show the top edges of the “V” have the highest crime rates.

Keep in mind those are higher crime rates in a city with low crime rates in general, so no neighborhood isn’t safe in this community.

You should avoid being in a rush across Santa Clarita.

While there are two major highways to get in and out of the city, there’s not a highway to get across the city.

You’re limited to surface streets which can get pretty backed up during certain times of the day.

Don’t go to Santa Clarita without first educating yourself on earthquake and wildfire safety.

The devastating pictures from the 1994 earthquake shows just how bad damage can get here, and it’s a good time to study the basic safety of each.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Santa Clarita

  1. Santa Clarita doesn’t have its police force. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department handles law enforcement in this city. It is not uncommon in Los Angeles to have the Sheriff’s Department be in charge of a community.
  2. You can follow along with police activity in Santa Clarita by following its feed on Nixle.com. This also provides weather alerts. LASD also has a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account. All of those are updated daily.
  3. The city released its 2021 annual report to show improvements in safety and infrastructure, and it’s an easy read to see what’s available now and what is to come.
  4. When faced with possible wildfire risks, the utility company might shut off power in what’s called a Public Safety Power Shutoff. This can happen when a strong storm with winds is coming through, or when high winds are predicted. Be prepared to be without power for up to several days.
  5. Seasonally, there is a free trolley service from certain hotels in Santa Clarita to Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and West Valencia Town Center. The service runs from mid-May through Labor Day weekend.
  6. When visiting a state park or national forest, there might be areas blocked off by hazard tape. Do not ignore the warning zones and cross the line. The marked-off areas were impacted by wildfires of recent years, and the ground, trees, and wildlife need to heal before being open to public traffic again.
  7. Any fireworks are illegal in Santa Clarita, yet people somehow still find a way to get them and shoot them off all year long. These are wildfire hazards and cannot be tolerated. If you see someone shooting off fireworks, take a picture if you safely can and report it to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
  8. The city has a Youth Grove with a somber reminder of how dangerous it can be to drive while distracted, speeding, or under the influence. The grove has 116 tree stumps, each symbolizing a life cut short by a traffic accident. It might be worth a visit to pay respects and also to keep in mind as you navigate through the busy traffic of Santa Clarita.
  9. To find safety advice for hiking at the plethora of options in and around Santa Clarita, search for #HikeSantaClarita on social media. You can get firsthand feedback on the best and safest areas to visit.
  10. There is no hunting allowed in the open spaces around Santa Clarita, even if you have a license. Check out the California Department of Wildlife’s website to learn more about hunting restrictions.

So... How Safe Is Santa Clarita Really?

In 2021, Santa Clarita had several distinguished rankings for safety:

  • 5th Safest Largest City in California by WalletHub
  • 13th Safest City in America by MoneyGeek.com
  • 8th Safest Midsize City by Advisor Smith
  • 13th Most Relaxed City in California by LawnStarter

The crime statistics back up every element of safety in Santa Clarita.

The Violent Crime risk rate is one in 785, the robbery risk rate is one in 3220, and the theft risk rate is one in 167.

The average crime a traveler needs to worry about is a car break-in.

It’s easy to control that risk by locking all the doors and rolling up windows, taking all valuables with you while leaving nothing in the car.

The biggest complaint from residents in Santa Clarita is that there isn’t a big food scene.

While most major restaurant chains are located here, there aren’t as many ethnic locally owned and operated restaurants as other Los Angeles area cities.

How Does Santa Clarita Compare?

CitySafety Index
Santa Clarita76
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45

Useful Information

  • Visas - Once you go through customs at the airport or port of entry, you won't need any additional processing to be in Santa Clarita.
  • Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only form of currency accepted here. Everything can be purchased on credit cards and you won't need to carry around cash. Always ask for the receipt or see if they can email you the receipt so you don't have your personal information ending up in a trash can.
  • Weather - There's a bit of a difference between winter and summer here. Winters are only going to get into the 60s for highs and will go down to the 40s for lows, so bring a jacket. Spring and fall will be mild with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Summer highs get into the mid-90s and tend to go higher when heat waves occur. The lows are going to be in the 60s. You'll want to plan for layers of clothing when you pack.
  • Airports - Your two closest airports are going to be Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, just 20 miles away. Los Angeles International Airport is 39 miles away.
  • Travel Insurance - You'll want travel insurance for a trip to Santa Clarita to avoid a delay or cancellation due to wildfires. Two major roadways bottleneck at Santa Clarita and traffic can easily be cut off by blowing wildfire smoke or a fire burning close to the freeway.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Santa Clarita Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 13° C
Feb 13° C
Mar 15° C
Apr 16° C
May 19° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 26° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 21° C
Nov 17° C
Dec 13° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
181921232630343533282318
Low
°C
8789121417171613107
High
°F
646670737986939591827364
Low
°F
464546485457636361555045

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