Los Liones Canyon and East Topanga Fire Road

HARD 459 reviews
#2 of 38 trails in

Los Liones Canyon and East Topanga Fire Road is a 10.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
10.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2427 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

A moderately difficult hike in Topanga Canyon State Park. Lush greens and beautiful views make this trail a hit! A 7+ mile hike from the Pacific Palisades to a popular overlook in Topanga State Park. The first part of this hike - the Los Liones Trail - is one of the most lush riparian canyons I've ever seen in the Santa Monica Mountains. It's gently graded, moderately shady, and definitely worth a look even if you have to fight crowds. Afterward, the trail meets up with the system of fire roads in Topanga State Park and makes a relentless ascent to Parker Mesa (1525ft). On a clear day, you'll get amazing views of the Santa Monica Bay, and often inland as far as the San Bernardino Mountains.

trail running
18 days ago

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.

25 days ago

It was a good trail with some elevation. Make sure you take plenty of water. We ended up doing 14.7 miles. Had problems with the recorder do this trail early gets pretty packed

hiking
25 days ago

Amazing hike.. make sure to stretch, this bad boy gets steep lol

29 days ago

Very nice 5 to 6 mile hike.

1 month ago

Great view at the end! I fell while on the way back down on a steep incline with loose dirt (use caution if you’re clumsy, like me).

hiking
1 month ago

We arrived shortly after 6:30 am on a Monday holiday (MLK Jr) and we were the 1st car in the parking lot closest to the main trailhead...I believe I saw 3 small lots on Los Liones Dr with street parking, however, when we finished at 9 am parking was crowded.

We did the loop counterclockwise and it was just under 4 miles to get to the Parker Mesa Overlook and even though we did this hike early in the morning we had clear views. Maybe half of the trail was a fire road There are two benches there to rest and eat some snacks. We had a bit of a difficult time finding the trail from there to finish the loop...it is located just to the left of the bench on the left. The trail back is about 1.5 miles on a narrow, steep downhill path with loose dirt and easy to los your footing so take it slow. It was about 5.5 miles and took us around 2.5 hrs to finish.

2 months ago

Amazng views.

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Hiked to the view lookout this weekend and my boyfriend proposed! Was an intense hike with lots of inclines, but the view at the end and getting engaged was worth every sweat and ache. There are lots of friendly people on the hike. A guy also came over to us after my boyfriend proposed and offered to take pictures for us. Was so glad he was there so we didn’t have to take just selfies. Thank you guy! Wish we got your name.

hiking
2 months ago

Way too crowded.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike
We weren’t really sure where it was going to end so eventually we just turned around and never found the so called loop.
Lots of parking available leading up to the entrance of the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Awesome views as reward!

3 months ago

Great trail. Beautiful. Full of fog when we went. The only complaint is the app showed the trail as a loop in red. I didn't realize you have to go back the way you came until we were at the top lookout. It would be nice if it wasn't in red showing a loop. Other than that it was amazing and a lot of fun.

3 months ago

First time and loved it! No hiking shoes needed, running shoes are fine. Incline is slow and steady, great workout. Spectacular views of LA skyline and ocean. If I lived closer, I’d do this hike weekly!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike!!!!!

3 months ago

Great hike. Beautiful views.

3 months ago

Uphill all the way in but worth the hike for the views from Midway and at the top. You can see from Palos Verdes to County line. Sunrise is worth getting up for!

3 months ago

Love this hike. It’s in town and hard as hell but worth it if you’re fit and want to stay that way. Great views of beaches on a nice day.

hiking
4 months ago

Done this trail a few times and it's definitely a good workout. This is perfect hiking weather right now so, was able to do it in a total of 2 hrs and 15 mins. (If you count that I ran it about 1/3 of the way to the top and ran all the way down.

4 months ago

Great hike and great views from the top. Pretty good workout but this is a perfect time of year to hike, except the fires.

4 months ago

Excellent trail

4 months ago

Excelente trail

hiking
4 months ago

You can make this a shorter hike by turning around once you get to the first lookout point. It would then be about 2.6 mi. That's what I did today. Check out my map of your interested. One of my favorite hikes, great shade and fun (LL portion). After that it's pretty much out in the open.

4 months ago

Picturesque LA hike

5 months ago

My favorite hike in the city

5 months ago

great! not easy!

5 months ago

Very pretty hike. Nice views.

5 months ago

Fun hike with great views. Can hike from 1.5 up to 10 miles.

7 months ago

just did hike again and realized it's the 3rd hill that is really difficult, but fun!! 2nd hill must seems to go up forever!
take the path less traveled - go to the left!

7 months ago

The trail is a loop. At the trailhead, just past the gate to the left is a drainage ditch the trail is at the bottom. Start up right away and keep going up 4 hills to the lookout area. Instead of 3.5 miles, you are there in 1.3 miles. Wear shoes with tread - lots of loose rocks and sand. The 2nd hill is long, steep and rocky! I was crawling at times! It is a fantastic climb. Definitely would rate this way HARD. To me, the way most people go - through the canyon to the fire road, is moderate. TBH - wouldn't go down this way - I would end up on my butt! If you want a challenge, take the trail on the left!!

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