nature trips



no dogs

trail running

wild flowers



kid friendly

mountain biking


dogs on leash


This California State park is located in Los Angeles in the community of Topanga and is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The park covers 11,000 acres stretching from Topanga Canyon to Rustic Canyon and down to the Pacific Palisades, all entirely within the City of Los Angeles, making it the largest wildland within major city limits. The park hosts 36 miles of trails and roads. Topanga State Park sits within the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains and boasts great views of open grassland, live oak, and the Pacific Ocean. The park offers excellent opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Popular trails in the park include Los Liones Canyon and and East Topanga Fire Road, Parker Mesa Overlook Trail, Santa Ynez Canyon Waterfall, and Musch Trail to Eagle Rock. The Backbone Trail also passes through the park. Mountain bikes are only allowed on fire roads such as Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop and Topanga Canyon Road. In the park you may encounter many geologic formations such as earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and various sedimentary formations. Many of the trails within Topanga State Park can be accessed from Trippet Ranch Area off of Entrada Road. Dogs are not allowed within the park.

Nothing too exciting, but a nice quick loop. Trail seems to be mostly repaired since previous reviews (one slightly overgrown section).

PARKING: the gates to the parking lot opens at 8AM with a fee. I got there by 7AM and decided to park on the dirt road outside the park for free 99. limited spots on the dirt road, though, so if you're looking for that free adventure - go early, otherwise, support your state parks and pay the parking fee.

THE HIKE: the hike itself is well maintained. you know when you have automatic flushing toilets you got yourself a bougie hike. they even had rolls of toilet paper ready for you. this is probably the Marriot of hikes. LOL. anyway, the hike is pretty straight forward - be sure to follow the signs (not that hard). you'll be taking the fire road for the majority of the hike and its a gradual incline till you get to your destination.

bring insect repellent cause you'll be coming by a lot of flies and gnats. annoying buggers. ALSO - no cause for alarm but i saw a snake on the way back so definitely stay away from the edge of the trail. Try to stick close to the middle as possible. you'll also see a bunch of the local birds on the trail. also lizards. they creep me out. sometimes they look like twigs and i accidentally stepped on one until it started scurrying away. it had me afrightened. LOL.

TRAFFIC: human traffic is generally pretty low in the early mornings. you got a few bikers, runners, and fellow hikers. everyone didn't really carry much, which made me the weird one taking my day pack. meh, better prepared. got to the trail head around 7AM and didn't start till 7:15AM (took advantage of the boujie toilets). It wasn't till i was descending back that i started seeing more humans.

Overall, a pretty nice hike with gorgeous views. definitely would do it again.

Had a great time hiking this trail, it gets pretty narrow and steep at certain points, but overall it was nice. Make sure to enjoy the views at the top, you can see the entire Westside of LA.

Great seclusion, views, and not super busy for a trail right against the city, cool birdlife too.

3 days ago

Great hike

4 days ago

The incline on the west side of the hike is harder than noted - and it’s nearly constant incline for the first mile of the hike. Be prepared for that. But it has gorgeous views and it’s an easy to follow trail.

As a beginner the initial hike up was challenging but doable (going clockwise). 100% worth it for the amazing mountain & ocean views up top. Ended up watching the sunset up there, so it was completely dark for the very last of the trail down (I used my phone flashlight). Really gorgeous views.

great workout, great views, close to the city

One of my favorite hikes in L.A. if you want to make this hike more challenging, there is an alternate route that will turn this into a 5 mile loop. From the main entrance on los liones, go left and down to cross the concrete. Follow the trail and about 50 meters in you will see another trail on your left that goes up the steep hillside. From there it is 1.4 miles to parker mesa overlook but be warned it is quite steep. You will gain 1300 feet in 1.4 miles, expect to cover this distance in 45 minutes to an hour depending on how many breaks you take. Shoes with good traction are recommended. I take this way up and the regular easy way down to make it a loop, going back this way is not recommended as it is quite steep.

trail running
17 days ago

Challenging but runnable climb, maybe not quite as exciting for hiking but I would still hike it. Part of the the backbone trail that runs across all the SM mountains so I’m glad I know it. Also be sure to continue at least to the fire overlook by making a right at the top of Hondo, behind the old radar tower, it’s a beautiful view.

trail running
17 days ago

Temescal is beautiful! Lots of options to extend your run

Arrived at the trailhead at 815am and was able to snag a free parking spot on the road. Took the fire road up as it was before the sun got too hot. Little coverage, but beautiful views. Eagle Rock was empty, only one other gal at the top. Make sure you sign the journal in the ‘cave’! Took the Musch Trail down, which was only single track and quite overgrown. Only saw a few places with horse poop. Not too many people at all. Overall the trail was great, I would do it again. But where were the ocean views????

Great hike

A moderate hike, mostly uphill. Try to start in the afternoon after the fog is lifted otherwise you won't get much of a view.

Beautiful views, I would do this trail again.

Beautiful, relatively chill trail for an afternoon walk! It was completely foggy so the views weren’t as expansive as we hoped, but being up in the clouds was a magical experience in its own right. Completed in about 2.5 hours with some time spent up top.

Nice time out doors, lots of greenery. Don’t expect a waterfall, there was only murky dirty water. I would assume it’d be beautiful after it rains. Had lots of fun stepping over stones and climbing a few.

Best Ever. Really. Best Hike Ever!

23 days ago

One of my favorite hikes to do in the Santa Monica mountains. The waterfall was trickling on April 1st but still a great loop for a casually long hike

Ok trail but super busy. Hot and bare on the west side of the loop. Good easy going hike.

FINALLY had a chance to visit this place! Conveniently located by Santa Monica, this trail is definitely very popular. No mountain driving required either! I arrived around 8:30 AM on a Sunday and the parking lot was pretty full already. However, there are a few small parking areas and street parking is available as well so finding parking shouldn't be too bad. It also seems like there are several trailheads that take you to the lookout: the Los Liones Canyon Trailhead; from Paseo Miramar; and lastly from Trippet Ranch. This review is specifically from the Los Liones Canyon trailhead. Parking is free and no pass/permit is required. Restrooms (Yes, non-pit, flowing water toilets!) are available by the parking lots. There was also another structure that kind of looked like a restroom around mile 3.5. Didn't go into it so not quite sure about that one.

Although I am a dog writing reviews (haha this account is under my dog's name), DOGS are NOT ALLOWED. It does mention near the parking lot that dogs must be kept on leash so they MAY be allowed in that area only. There is a sign at the trailhead that says dogs are NOT allowed. I have run across a few dogs and I'm not sure if they are service dogs but technically you can't hike with them here (don't know the restrictions for service dogs). Most state & national parks do not allow dogs and there are usually various reasons on why they're not allowed. It is a bummer for people who like to hike/run with their dogs, but at the same time there are PLENTY of trails nearby that welcome dogs. So no real reason to break the rules and bring fido to this one. Last thing you want is a ticket to ruin your hike/run!

Now on to the details of the trail. It is approximately 4 miles to the lookout and there is somewhat of a "mini" lookout at around mile 1.5. The first 1.5 miles is a nice single track with some shade and a gradual climb. Past that point, the trail is pretty much a wide fire road that overlooks the mountains. The climb also becomes steeper. Unfortunately, it was pretty cloudy today when I got to the lookout and the views were somewhat limited so this review probably needs to be updated when I get a chance to revisit on a clear day! After visiting the lookout, I did a quick detour towards Trippet Ranch. I only went around 1.5 miles down this trail but it was a lot more peaceful and definitely had way less people!!

Today was a trail run and with some detours and wrong turns, it ended up being a 11 mile run with 2,444 ft of elevation gain. Took about 2 hours roundtrip. The total hike/run should be around 8 miles or so if you go to the lookout and come back.

The amount of people was a bit too much for me but this could vary depending on the time and day of the week. I'd also love to revisit on a clear day to experience the wonderful views everyone is talking about!!

I also was not able to figure out how to do that loop as seen on the alltrails map.

Lovely, easy to follow, well marked and gorgeous views!

Don’t bother. Once you arrive, you have to make a small hike uphill to get to the trailhead. Everything is well marked, except there is no mention of this trail. Also, once you get half mile in, there are no dog signs posted. Such a waste of my day.

trail running
27 days ago

The loop is nice, moderate in difficulty especially those new to running -- if you start the loop left, beware extremely steep upswing and a very large gauge pebble downswing; probably easier to go up right and come down left. Well kept, better for running early morning and weekdays, gets super busy weekends.

Im a big fan of this hike and of Topanga State park! The whole area is neat, but Eagle rock is the crowned jewel with it's caves and panaramic views. I prefer taking the Fire road (best views) to eagle rock, but Musch trail is nice too, and a good change of scenery.

Im a big fan of this hike and of Topanga State park! The whole area is neat, but Eagle rock is the crowned jewel with it's caves and panaramic views. I prefer taking the Fire road (best views) to eagle rock, but Musch trail is nice too, and a good change of scenery.

Kind of a boring hike until the ravine at the end, and some trickling water if you're lucky! Might be a better hike after some heavy rains.
I'd recommend just staying on the path to Eagle rock though, and not detouring to this waterfall.

Loved it. If you take the left side first you get a beautiful view of the ocean at the top.

1 month ago

The skull rock was awesome!!! I love this trail, city view and ocean view both were gorgeous! I would like to do it every week!

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