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Rustic Canyon Loop Trail

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Topanga State Park

Rustic Canyon Loop Trail is a 4.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.6 miles Elevation Gain: 980 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

partially paved

river

views

waterfall

muddy

over grown

rocky

off trail

no dogs

NOTE: Please read comments and reviews before hiking this trail. There have been recent reports of the trail being washed out and very poorly marked in the swamp. For these reasons, it is possible that this route is closed. It is recommended that you take the loop clockwise up the inspiration point trail. The rocks coming down are very steep.

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
9 hours ago

My boyfriend and my self took this trail yesterday. Initially its not hard since you will go through Will Rodgers and catch the backbone trail. As you go down to Murphy Ranch, the trail is a little tricky as there are a bunch of pebbles and loose rocks. After that you will find the ruins of Murphy Ranch, a bit eerie but pretty cool area to see. I insisted that we shouldn’t go back through Will Rodgers to my bf, hes like there is a trail but its tricky, I said ok despite his warning. So this trail runs along side the creek, you have to stay by the creek not to get lost there are some areas that have a paved trail but not every area is like that. There is bugs, leaves, branches, mud and plants that you will for sure encounter. You will see a few more ruins on way and will encounter a waterfall, which has a very nice view we went around the top of the fall but i read that there is a rope that can lead you to the bottom of the fall. I didn’t personally see that. This trail is extremely hard for an amateur hiker like my self, even my bf that hikes these trails before got very frustrated so please be careful and go with someone if you decide to take this trail. Expect to get wet, muddy and falls. We fell in the creek got our shoes wet and muddy. When we finally reached the end it was like 2 hours later and my bf was extremely happy. You will take a trail upwards and this will lead you up to the polo field on the other end of the parking lot. I wouldn’t do this trail again as it was very stressful.

hiking
flooded
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 day ago

Avoid this trail - the Murphy Ranch section down to Will Rogers is incredibly overgrown, Poison Ivy, many creek crossings and trail completely washed out on sections. The Will Rogers/backbone section is ok... the creek portion is not acceptable.

hiking
8 days ago

The Rustic Canyon portion of the trail is, being honest, simply terrible. Overgrown, muddy, basically it is slogging up the stream through poison oak and over fallen trees. May be the worst trail in LA. zero maintenance for years. The other part, up and over the hill from Will Rogers, is great and well traveled and maintained, but avoid the loop through Rustic at all costs.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
washed out
19 days ago

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS FOR INEXPERIENCED HIKERS. We did this trail last year and it was just as overgrown today as it was then. We went counter-clockwise (against advice) and started in the canyon and through the crazy overgrown area. It can be very easy to get lost, however if you just follow the stream then you’re on the right path. There are occasional markings (blue/red spray paint) that indicate the path. Long pants/leggings ARE NECESSARY and waterproof boots are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It’s much easier to just walk through the water in some places. We made it to the waterfall over the cement wall, then had to climb/scramble up the rope area to the right to get back on the trail. The trail from there is straightforward if you follow AllTrails. Yes, it is steep getting back to the top part of the trail, but I’d much rather go up that then down. The rest of the hike was easy heading back down to the cars.

hiking
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
washed out
19 days ago

It is way too easy to lose the trail as this one hasn't been maintained. We got very lost! Thus why I downloaded this app!!

hiking
bugs
muddy
off trail
over grown
rocky
washed out
25 days ago

This trail should definitely be labeled as EXTRA hard cause more than half of it is thru a very muddy river with a lot of over grown plants. I actually ended up slipping on a rock and falling face first in the river. Definitely thought we were lost at one point. Either the trail needs to be modified or I would suggest just turning back at the top. I would never go that way again.

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