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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.

Beautiful nature views of tree covered mountains, canopying trees over the path (doesn’t interfere with the walk!), & flowers. Waterfall was dry, but beautiful hike :)

hiking
2 days ago

it was a solid hike. west side (left) to start. steeper incline. views of ocean. east side gradual descent. more rural. dusty trail so you will get dirty. good footwear recommended. i did it without water at 11 am and 83 degrees. it was fine.

Beautiful!!!

This hike is rated hard for a reason! I did the loop only which was clocked at 5.1 miles from the entrance gate. I went up counter clockwise, not sure if that was a good choice or a bad one. Either way is fairly brutal. If you go counter clockwise, you’ll start up the trail which is the most heavily trafficked (and also fairly well covered) right past the “trail” signs. This is a narrow trail which will take you up to the vista about 1.20 miles up. It’s an easy first segment and you can enjoy the awesome view at the top of the ocean and cityscape below. Then it’s on to leg burning time. Continue to head up the wide fire road (this is the right side of the trail on the map) - this is a long strenuous hike up, not extremely steep but it’s constant. Not many people venture this route, so it wasn’t heavily trafficked. I think I lost about 20 lbs in sweat during this segment. Keep going and eventually you will hit the mid point and can continue on straight to make this an “out & back” or go left past the bathrooms onto the “rabbit hole” trail (west side of loop). This trail is no joke, it’s super steep! I had to break off a stick (aka hiking pole) and at times get down on all fours just to get down some of the declines. This is a VERY narrow and very rocky trail, so slipping will occur, be careful. The trail is slightly overgrown so you do have some shade (watch out for snakes). Hike was a good heart pumping workout for sure, but the rabbit hole was a bit unpleasant so not sure I will do the loop again.
Parking is free - there is a small lot near the trail entrance and parking on the street - weekends get crowded.

Hikenites.la and skyhighhiking follow for weekly night hikes around La. We hiked on 7/9 around 11:30pm. Small group of 7, really nice trail, glimpse of many terrains, easy ascend to the top. Nice views all around. Hiked down the fire road. Easier but not much to enjoy. Really nice weather since its been really hot during the day. Saw some deer by where we parked. No mountain lion sightings. Safe all around.

Challenging but beautiful views and scenery

A wonderful hike to go on that's local and can take about 30 minutes to get to the top of the summit. Best times to go are the early morning, as there are less people and the sun isn't fully beaming yet. I recommend a good 8am start if not sooner.

Rewarding view of the Pacific and as far as downtown LA! I usually go as far as Skull Rock and then make my way down.

hiking
8 days ago

Not at bad hike, just had a lot of hard rocks on the paths where someone may be able to trip and/or twist an ankle. Overall there is a lot of shade and has a gradual incline and all downhill on the back end.

Great trail, though the last two times I’ve been here, cars have been broken into. If you have anything valuable, lock it and leave it out of view.

It’s a great alternative to staying on the exposed fire roads though still somewhat exposed but it feels like you’re so far away from everything. And you get some nice singletrack and a bit of fireroads, small section through a neighborhood in Topanga but lots of fun.

Great views of ocean and canyons. Wide paths for hikers and bikes. Trip out is mostly uphill and return trip mostly downhill. No parking at trailhead, need to park on residential street leading to trailhead which can be very limited at times.

Great moderate trail that goes through some brush and trees with a great reward at the top of a fantastic view of the Valley on one side and the ocean on the other side. I would do it again!

Such a beautiful view of LA plus a view of the beach! Lots of green trees and shade on the left side of trail. On the right trail is where dogs are allowed. Lots of steps but such a great workout! Only con is you barely get any shade compared to the left side of trail. Also, not a crowded trail which is a major plus!

P.S. parking is $10 but there is some parking across the street.

hiking
12 days ago

If you take the trail left or west, you will quickly start an incline for a mile, with little shade, quite a bit of heat, but the most amazing views of the ocean and coastline. If you go right or east, it’s mostly shade, a steady incline, and lots of flora. There is also an amazing breeze. For me, I loved going left, seeing the amazing ocean views and becoming quite overheated, and then enjoying the slow decline under the flora and cool breeze hitting me most of the way back to the parking lots. And there also tables and a green grassy patch for one to have a picnic on the bottom of the right side.

A there and back again trail. No shade, great views, perfect for runners and mountain bikers, though the latter should look out for cracks in the road here and there.

Great trail with some good inclines. We went from east to west and so the steeper grades were on the way down. Nice views once you get up top. Cacti at the lower elevations. I think most go up from the west because you reach the top sooner but I liked the slower inclines. Bring water as it gets hot. Saw lots of birds as well.

The actual trailhead was not well marked and not too easy to find-I followed someone’s recording to locate it. As description states, it starts off on a water runoff (cement) which then takes you to the dirt trail. Again no markers, just follow the app or recordings. I started at around 1:20p and ended right before 5pm, not doing the full loop I did a little over 8 miles. This trail is wide for the most part which gives you and the cyclists plenty of room. I ran into someone every maybe 1.5 miles or so, not many people on this trail. Wear your sunscreen and a hat as the trail is exposed almost the entire way and in summer not very forgiving. I would rate this one as moderate as I didn’t think the initial incline was enough to be “hard” and athough the trail is a nice easy incline the entire way you don’t notice it as much. This trail also links to backbone, skull rock and other trails. Nice scenery of the mountains, city and ocean below. Parking is either on the residential streets or a small parking lot (free) across from the trail head (which I missed).

hiking
15 days ago

Good walk, gets the blood flowing and a nice view LA and the beaches! Recommend you go to the left for a steeper climb and more relaxed decent on your ankles!

Love!

hiking
16 days ago

This was a moderate hike with good elevation gain.

hiking
16 days ago

Comfortable, great scenery, ocean breeze, not over demanding, plenty of meadows and vegetation, occasionally horses on the trail.

trail running
18 days ago

Please be careful if you do decide to attempt this counter-clockwise.

I made the mistake of assuming this will be a reasonably moderate adventurous run (since I'm very familiar with the trails around here and am often found there when not working). The trail is washed out so you'll be bouncing left and right across the creek quite often. It gets slippery at certain parts (when most of the rocks have algae / moss). If you're careful and have good traction shoes, that part can be doable. But please be careful! Now when I hit the artificial waterfall, I didn't see anything there (I somehow missed the rope leading up the wall). I instead traced back 0.1mi and found a way to scramble up on the left side to what seemed to be a trail. I had tried to go somewhere on the right but the gates were all locked up and my mab showed that left side was reasonable. But I think the trail I ended up on was abandoned, since it ended. I slipped at one point and kept on sliding. Managed to find a way to hold on to branches, and out of fear of falling kept going up, holding on to whatever I can (which is hard given that there were only a few degraded sandstone pieces that were breaking off, a minimal amount of branches, and lots of dead leaves.) Ended up needing rescuing. Never thought I would ever need that in my life, and certainly not in my backyard.

I admit my decision-making seems off (fear does wonders), but please be careful and don't underestimate this path. And as people suggested, perhaps try to go clockwise or go with a few friends so you can keeo each other in check and not get lost / hurt.

Enjoy the trails and be smarter than me!

Great place to hike. Go early in the morning because after 9am it gets packed.

great hike. have to say this is one of my favorite.. no dogs

This is a great hike. Took me 5 1/2 hours to complete, including the walk to and from Sunset to get to the loop. The whole trail is open, but many sections of the Backbone Trail are covered over by tall weeds. I think this will be a regular for me.

Great spot for a hike with a view of the ocean! Easy, short hike up to a large view of the pacific coast from Malibu to marina Del Ray. View of downtown LA. Good for all people. I usually bring friends here when they come to visit. I haven’t checked it out at sunset, but it’s on my list to do. Must see!

This was one of the more scenic hikes I’ve done in LA. The views (on a clear day) are amazing and once you hit the peak you get a nice [reward] panoramic view of the shoreline and cityscape. I clocked in 7 miles from start to finish on this one. I would rate this as an easy to moderate hike. It’s an incline for most of the way up (not TOO steep but does give you a workout) but there are many parts of level ground. What makes it a bit more strenuous is the distance. The trail is exposed so bring hats, wear sunscreen and bring water. I went around 2pm and ran into hikers/bikers maybe every quarter mile or so, not too busy. Saw people coming up to the overlook point from different trails so assuming many other trails lead to this peak.

Deliciously challenging inclines followed by breathtaking vistas repeated so many times it would be boring if it wasn’t beautiful.

Beginning of trail was cleared but the rest was overgrown.

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