Explore the most popular trail running trails in Topanga State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2 days ago

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Good hike great view. I dropped a small bag with my python hammock straps - if anyone finds it holler back :(

Steady incline and amazing views of the ocean! Not very shaded but good for an overcast day

Nice long trail, would rate this one as moderate not hard. The parking is free unless you pass the stop sign (be sure to fully stop or you’ll get ticketed) and it’s a brief uphill walk to the trailhead. The initial portion is fairly easy with some incline. The trail the takes you down through a Topanga Canyon neighborhood (just a few houses) which is interesting (saw an abandoned car on the trail). Once you get through the neighborhood, the incline begins on a fire road and is steady for about a mile and a half. You can then continue on for just a bit to relax/detour at Eagle Rock at the top. From there we took the descent into Garapito trail which is further down in the canyon and mostly covered. It’s a single track and well maintained. Our group got stung by wasps which hurt like a mother, must’ve hit a nest or something. Watch for poison oak, we passed it a few places on the Garapito. The trail will dump you out into a fire road where you then continue on an incline up towards the parking lot. I drank about 2 liters. Part of the trail is exposed so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. Took us about 4.5 hours with a 15 min break and clocked in a little over 9 miles. Great views, long hike but fun!

Creds- Have AllTrails Pro so know on correct path, mileage and time at any point (GPS excellent).

Free designated parking at trailhead.

Started at 11:am since temps now cooler (less than 80F). Went counter clockwise. Trail starts to go into canyon with 2 miles, so don’t be fooled by Trail names such as ‘road’ on map. ~85% on trails (not fire roads or neighborhoods). The neighborhood walk portion was less than 1 mi and was a house here and there-few houses are really away from civilization.

There was one slightly steep section going down, but walkable. Uphill on way back not significant- recommend going counter clockwise. Breeze entire route. Lots of shaded areas but definitely need hat and 2 liters of water.

Entire trail great condition. Never had to sit / use hands going down or up. Never had to duck under trees. Lots of views. Lots of dead/ dried out flora- from drought? Fauna - family of quails, lizards, 1 small garden snake. Saw ~8 hikers.

Great hike!

beautiful hike with many beautiful views.
when you get to eagle Rock , you can climb up and relax up in the rock and take the fire road back
night hiking this trail is well worth it.
visit my i.g Skyhighhiking

I heard a lot of complaints as far as the accuracy of the trial goes and I fixed that problem. Ran this on 9/28/18 exploring but mostly figuring out the Accuracy. Please use my recording for future reference and do not try to hike or run this without a serious level of fitness for your own safety

We started early at 6:45 AM and noticed a lot of cars park already. Coming from Los Leones Canyon entrance trail, it is 1.5 miles of narrow and relaxing hike with trail covered with trees. Then you will be exposed to open overlooking views of ocean and city and there is a bench for resting. Then the rest of your 2 mile trail to the Parker Mesa overlook will be wide and exposed with few inclines that will give you your cardio workout. The overlook is amazing and breathtaking on a clear day.

Love finally getting to Eagle Rock peak to enjoy and take in the fantastic views.

Easy/moderate hike and gorgeous view !

A moderate hike with great chaparral/canyon scenery. There's plenty of shady, but I still recommend going early in the morning or late in the afternoon on hot days. The main downside is that it's heavily trafficked. That's to be expected in the easily-accessible Santa Monica Mountains, though.

28 days ago

Nice trail. Very exposed though, little to no shade for all of the hike. I recommend it for an early morning or late hike. Not too many bugs. Seems like a very popular trail for mountain bikers, there were quite a few who passed along the trail. The views were not as expansive as I expected, but overall a nice trail. I saw a buck!

Nice moderate loop trail for early morning or late afternoon. Otherwise it would be very hot (not a lot of shade during the first, uphill, part of the hike if you go clockwise). Beautiful views on the way up. Lovely cool forest on the way down. Busy but not jammed on a Saturday afternoon. Parking is $10 (pay at the machine in the parking lot).

trail running
28 days ago

I recommend doing it counter clockwise. East side of the trail inclines slower and has a lot of shade in the morning, but also a lot of rocks. West side is nice smooth dirt trail but more exposed to the sun. So it makes sense to go up slower in the shady but rocky trial and coming down quicker on the smooth but expose part. Overall a beautiful trail with some shade.

Great hike. Many interesting things to see.

Clocked in about 5.6 miles on this one. Beautiful views on this trail, similar to other trails in the area. Starts out with a good incline for about 1.5 miles then somewhat levels out until you hit the summit (past the bathroom/trash cans). There are a couple of benches at the summit to enjoy the view of the coast and downtown. The trail itself is fairly wide, and very exposed with little to no shade. This is a popular local trail so it's heavily trafficked, and as traildummies.com says: "like the 405 - it is so crowded nobody expects you to talk to them." Parking is on the residential street only, I was able to find plenty of open parking on a Sunday morning, but I heard it gets pretty hard to find parking on the weekends.

Great hike. First 2 miles are zig-zaggy pretty steep incline. Wonderful views. Lightly traveled.

A good workout. Some nice views, but a large portion of the hike is in the canyons and among the brush with no vistas. The last few miles are punishing in the summer heat—seemingly airless ravines followed by an uphill march up a roasting hot fire road. Bring a lot of water and a wide brimmed hat.

Well rounded hike - fantastic trail run! Shaded the first part.

So close to Santa Monica and lovely hike.

Nothing but love for the Backbone Trail! We left one car on the street outside the entrance to Will Rogers (so we could leave it overnight) and rode together to Stunt Rd. We parked in a gravel area near Stunt and began our hike towards Musch Camp, which is first come first serve camping.

The downhill was rough with 20+ lbs of gear each, but it was gorgeous. The campsite had drinking water and toilets, but minimal shade. It was very hot out and that might be why we had no problem getting a camp spot on a Saturday. We relaxed and ate and slept well.

The second day was equally hot, but equally beautiful. I'd done this part of the trail before (near Will Rogers). In June it was a little overgrown and there were some patches of flying insects, but it was a lovely hike. I love the bridges and ocean view on this section of the BBT. I've done about half of the whole trail now and we can't wait to finish the rest. If you have the same goal, definitely try to stay at Musch when you come through this leg of it.

Very nice and clean trail. It was an easy trail, very little inclines. About 6.8 miles back and fourth trail. Connects to los Leones trail and got to see that beautiful ocean view. Hiked Labor Day 2018 at 12 pm, very little traffic. Perfect running trail for the way down.

great trail views are worth the medium effort

There are a few ways to do this trail, but we opted to do the loop CLOCKWISE, extend down the fire road a few miles, then returned for the remainder of the loop.

For an easier hike, follow the main trail out and back. It is beautiful, green, and well traveled.

You should be an experienced hiker to complete the full loop as the first portion (Rabbit Hole) is VERY steep and somewhat slippery for about 1.5 miles to Parker Mesa Overlook. Wear HIKING footwear and bring lots of water. To find this option, you have to access the trail by dipping into and crossing he wash as you enter the gates. Follow the trail straight into the woods for about 50 yards or so. When you see the “trail closed” sign straight ahead, look up and to the left...WAAY up to what looks like a dirt mess...that’s the trail

Good trail with awesome views on a clear day. Great for sunset.

Beautiful view

Despite there no longer being a waterfall, the area where it once was is still very pretty. The dried riverbed was at times better to hike along since the trail is not maintained and currently has a lot of poison oak. Also there were lots of signs to watch out for rattlesnakes, though we didn’t see any along the way. Overall no regrets about going just to see those rocks at the end but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to go again when there’s so many different trails to choose from in this area.

i did this tail about a year ago. the first half of the loop was fun but after the decent, well, i didn't expect to be knee deep in creek. i had a friend with me who very much did not like the second half of this trail.

Great hike with some awesome views

A quick getaway hike that is easy to get to. Counterclockwise for the view at the end. Clockwise for a bit more cardio.

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