Parker Mesa Overlook Trail to East Topanga Fire Road

MODERATE 202 reviews
#14 of 55 trails in

Parker Mesa Overlook Trail to East Topanga Fire Road is a 5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Los Angeles, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,486 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

wild flowers

over grown

scramble

no shade

no dogs

This trial is a combination of three very different kinds of hiking trails. A good mixture of a hike. Make sure you have good shoes, you may or may not want have long sleeve/hiking pants. Optional. Once you arrive to the hiking spot. You will see trail goes two different directions. Go to your left over the drainage and you will be going clockwise! That’s the start of Parker Mesa trail called Rabbit Hole. It’s a 1.5 mile hike that constantly goes up. You will be sweating on this part of hike. It’s not for the novice. Must have experience going up. Some areas the incline is harder than others. Some areas of the incline up is shaded and other parts not shaded. Some parts of incline up is a little overgrown. It’s hard incline up and you will feel great once you make it to the top!! Once you make it to the top, enjoy the wonderful views! Then you will start the second phase of the hike which is pretty easy and wide open on East Topanga Road which is part of the Paseo Miramar trail. It’s mostly a decline down and can see view. This part has no shade. Continue to go down. Be careful to not miss the connecting part to get onto Los Lioness trail by going RIGHT! The Paseo Miramar continues straight down on East Topanga road. The last part is the popular Los Lioness where you will find a lot of people on this part of trail. It’s curvy, fun, shaded part of trail. You will pass people on this part of hike. At the end of trail will take you back to where you started and you have completed this trail! Don’t let the first 1.5 miles discourage you as the rest of hike is easy and enjoyable.

hiking
scramble
4 days ago

This was a really good loop. Rabbit Hole is no joke - several scramble portions where it is very steep and gravelly. However, it was beautiful and had a nice mix of shady areas through low trees/tall grasses and more exposed/classic ridge line terrain. I am only giving it 4 stars because I'm not big for hiking on fire roads. However, the views were pretty nonstop.

I accidentally did this hike counterclockwise (so I went down the Rabbit Hole) and it wasn’t too bad, just a little slippery on the loose rocks. Nice hike with lots of variety.

hiking
no shade
over grown
11 days ago

Tough but rewarding. Definitely want to do it clockwise. Worth the view

Was supposed to do this clockwise but accidentally did it counter. It was like 3 miles up and a mile down a washed out trail,

hiking
1 month ago

Best bang for your buck local hike around. Can be short or long, easy or hard depending on the routes and directions you take. Views are always amazing and on top of it all you get that sweet sweet ocean breeze. Once you make it to the overview (granted you didn’t destroy yourself hiking up the rabbit hole...if you went up the rabbit hole, kuddos to you, you beast!) you can choose to hike back down the way you came or venture down the rabbit hole. That route gets over grown and you can end up lost. One time I was following the finance not paying attention and low and behold we were basically at a barb wired fence looking into someone’s yard. It sucked. Moral of the story, if you choose the rabbit hole, pay attention! Check your trail markers and enjoy the ride. Happy trekking!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Great views from the trail and overlook. Definitely go clockwise - going up the Rabbit Hole trail is far easier than going down it, as there are a number of scrambles that you might slide down otherwise. It's a tiring continual climb up, but it's worth it, and there are far fewer people on this trail than Los Liones. I thought the trail was pretty clearly marked, but keep an eye on the map. Once you reach Parker Mesa Overlook, the rest of the loop is quite easy and well-traveled.

hiking
1 month ago

I recommend counter clockwise. Very steep up hill at first with gradual descent. Best views of in the Santa Monica mts!

First 1.5 miles are steep and difficult to get a grip on, but the downhill is really nice. Go clockwise.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with beautiful views! The first two miles were quite difficult in my opinion, but the last 3 were really easy coming down. The view at the top was worth it!

hiking
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

While the vast majority of this hike is easy to moderate, the first 1.5 miles are strenuous as other hikers have mentioned. All of the elevation gain happens in that first section and it’s quick so don’t be afraid to take water breaks and let yourself adjust. Lots of scrambling and dodging overgrowth so I also suggest long pants and a jacket. One you make it the top though the view is spectacular. Trail is crowded on the way down so start early for more privacy.

Great views, lots of parking, the wind was blowing and it made the view so clear. I am going to bring my Boyscout troop up next week i did it clockwise which was harder but when I got to the top the view was breathtaking

hiking
2 months ago

Nice variety of environment as we climb round up a mountain with ocean views. Part narrow trail, part fire road. Popular. Saw a beautiful double rainbow over lush a fairy tale valley.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice variety of environment as we climb round up a mountain with ocean views. Part narrow trail, part fire road. Popular.

hiking
over grown
scramble
3 months ago

Really good trail! We went to the left on the “Rabbit Hole” and it’s very steep uphill. Wear tall socks and hiking boots. We didn’t make the whole loop because it was more difficult than we estimated. Give yourself time because it’s really nice!

This trial is a combination of three very different kinds of hiking trails. A good mixture of a hike. Make sure you have good shoes, you may or may not want have long sleeve/hiking pants. Optional. Once you arrive to the hiking spot. You will see trail goes two different directions. Go to your left over the drainage and you will be going clockwise! That’s the start of Parker Mesa trail called Rabbit Hole. It’s a 1.5 mile hike that constantly goes up. You will be sweating on this part of hike. It’s not for the novice. Must have experience going up. Some areas the incline is harder than others. Some areas of the incline up is shaded and other parts not shaded. Some parts of incline up is a little overgrown. It’s hard incline up and you will feel great once you make it to the top!! Once you make it to the top, enjoy the wonderful views! Then you will start the second phase of the hike which is pretty easy and wide open on East Topanga Road which is part of the Paseo Miramar trail. It’s mostly a decline down and can see view. This part has no shade. Continue to go down. Be careful to not miss the connecting part to get onto Los Lioness trail by going RIGHT! The Paseo Miramar continues straight down on East Topanga road. The last part is the popular Los Lioness where you will find a lot of people on this part of trail. It’s curvy, fun, shaded part of trail. You will pass people on this part of hike. At the end of trail will take you back to where you started and you have completed this trail! Don’t let the first 1.5 miles discourage you as the rest of hike is easy and enjoyable. I loved the challenge of the incline up!

hiking
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
over grown
scramble
5 months ago

Great time of year to go. It was just cool enough today and cooled a bit extra by the ocean air. A little tricky to find the right trailhead: once you go through the Los Liones gate you need to cross the drainage area to the left. Then it’s a very steep ascent but I enjoyed it! Views on the route back were great and we didn’t run into anyone on the way up. LOTS of poodle dog brush to watch out for on the way up though. That section was overgrown so either do a lot of dodging or wear long pants!

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