Explore Ruca Monster - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Ruca Monster Map

It's a good beginner hike or just a quick fun cardio session for those with hiking experience! If you want it to be more on the moderate side like it mentions, start by going to the left, it is more uphill with some good hills to get your blood flowing.

Mileage listed here is inaccurate because you cannot park at the trailhead. I started my recording from where you can park and it was 6.7 miles round trip to the Deer Park Cabin.

The first part of the hike to the trailhead is on a road. There is a pretty cool dam to look at, but other than that it is pretty boring. The best part of the hike is when you get down into the canyon. You will walk alongside a lovely stream under the cover of some beautiful trees. However, the end at Deer Park Cabin is really not that interesting.

We took the same route back as we do not find fire roads to be very exciting. Overall this hike is just okay. On the plus side, it’s not used very much. We only saw two other people and we saw only two pieces of trash on the trail (which we packed out.)

If you do park inside the park entrance gate it will cost $5 on weekdays and $6 on weekends, but you must be out by 5pm. I believe the entrance gate is closed all day Tuesday.

Not good to hike. It’s a plain straight trail with a lot of dog turd. It’s good for a simple run.

Nice views ! Great place to bring your dog

Did this hike on a Saturday after it rained on Friday night. The views were beautiful and clear the entire hike. Extremely light traffic. Only saw a few people midday on a weekend. I definitely plan on doing this hike again. It was great.

Beautiful views and very peaceful!

Trail was closed today due to maintenance/weather

13 days ago

Went up the North side and came down the South. The loop takes about 2 hours and change. Beautiful views of the surrounding areas.

This place is great for family hikes, easy and fun for kids...one big main trail and small fun rigid trails cut through it.

I have been here 4 times. It's not bad, but definitely not high on my list of favorite hikes or hikes that I can't wait to return to. The first time I came here was a solo hike. I brought some family member the 2nd time and thought this would be good since my niece has a young family and figured the trail around the lake would be short and easy enough for them to handle. The third time I came with a friend that I hadn't seen in a long time and we hiked the whole thing and that gave us time to "catch up". The last time I came here was for an Earth Day 10K.

Pros- easy to find and doesn't require a long drive to get there; there is ample parking in the lot ($3 I believe)...you can also park at the southwestern end at a school(during non-school hours) or on the street near the school for free; different connecting trails to make your hike suitable to the level of difficulty or time that you have (I have done as little as 2.5 miles here to as much as 6 miles); some steep hills that seemed much steeper when I was running the 10k that gives you a good workout if you choose that trail on the southern side; you can bring your dog

Cons- on the busy side and surrounded by neighborhoods so you don't get the feeling of really getting away from the hustle/bustle; no cool destination or view that you must see esp. since the lake is dry.

1 month ago

Similar to Runyon Canyon in Hollywood but less foot traffic. Went up the North side and came down the South. Nice, steady incline, on the North and pretty steep coming down the South. If you are looking for a challenge, go up the South side. About 2-2.5 hours round trip. Bring water and a hat. Nice views of Burbank and DTLA at the top.

They open at 9am

view was great, plenty of splinter trails, good workout on the way up. :)

love this hike, lots of rock jumping, wear good grip water shoes, and pay attention to the tide if you go too late the tide will creep up and you'll be swimming instead of hiking

Great place for a hike! Love Palos Verdes and the amazing views!

1 month ago

Great workout! It's a very steady incline to the top. We started at 8am and went clockwise so there were decent amounts of shade along parts of the trail. Later in the day it was mostly direct sun. Wonderful views and not too much traffic. (Hike date 2/11/18)


This hike should be labeled easy and not moderate. However, it's a nice hike for the area and a good place to do trail running. There is a small parking lot available.

Good trail with lots of hill climbing. You are rewarded with some good views of the mountains and hills.

1 month ago


Beautiful well maintained trails with fantastic views of the ocean. Most of the trails seemed pretty easy. It is definitely hard to find close parking if you are not there early. Good trail for walking dogs.

I enjoy everything about this hike

Great hike, even after the fire.

1 month ago

first time hiking! im 250 lbs it was hot! i would stop frequently but i did it. cant wait to go back!!! make sure ti take water

awesome hike. some.areas still.closed due to the fires but definitely recommended!

A couple trails were closed but still had a blast!

mountain biking
1 month ago

Quick 1 hour loop by bike. A 3.5 mile mellow climb followed by an exciting 2+ mile descent. Make sure your brakes work and carry a bike bell to alert hikers.
Recommend riding in the late afternoon after the sun has gone down to avoid the glare and heat.

1 month ago

Maybe more of a 3.5 than 4 stars.

Location- I like that it isn't too far to get to (at least for me)...conveniently located near the 210 & 605 fwys

Parking- $6 fee; rangers don't open the gate until 7 am on weekends but you can park down in the residential area for free and walk a little less than a mile to access the trail and start it earlier *btw this is the same entrance you use to do the Monrovia falls hike

We parked near the Trask Scout Reservation sign (see attached pic) and there is a paved road with a sign that says authorized vehicles only...we took that steep road up and passed the dam and got to the trailhead about a mile later. You can pick either of two trails at this point (see attached pic). The one to the left which we took has little stone columns to pass through and is a narrow somewhat steep trail that you stay on for about 2 miles until you reach an area with other trails connecting and we opted to go right and it had an arrow with the word bathroom and that led us back down to complete the loop on the wider fire access type of road so we did the loop clockwise and it took us back down to the trailhead (I used the All Trails app). You then take the same road down past the dam to the parking lot

Distance- 6.7 miles RT
Elevation gain- about 1,600 ft
Duration- between 2-4 hrs
Difficulty- moderate

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