Sullivan Canyon Trail

MODERATE 101 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Sullivan Canyon Trail is a 9.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Pacific Palisades, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.6 miles
1,410 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



mountain biking

nature trips

trail running



wild flowers




Free street parking

1 month ago

There was a short, very steep elevation gain. After that, the rest of the trail has very little elevation. There were lots of bikers!!

mountain biking
1 month ago

A solid climb to the top will make you work especially near the top. Keep an eye out for single track of the side or the road on the way down.

4 months ago

We went on this trail around 11am .. nice and wide but not enough shade for furry friends. Lots of bugs and dog poop that irresponsible owners didn’t pick up after their dogs. Lots of gravel and speeding cyclists speeding down the hill. We
did see a rattlesnake crossing the path ..
Would I go back, prob not.

4 months ago

Nice flat trail (until the very end), good for trail running. Mostly gravel and very even. Lovely shade trees and some pretty wildflowers in April. Saw a small rattlesnake slither off sunny spot on path as I approached, so I’d keep dogs on leash. Entrance is pretty obvious, around wood gate (there is a path on left) and down the hill.

7 months ago

No access through the directions, took us to a giant wooden gate. We took Old Ranch Road

9 months ago

Interesting trail... a few years ago my dog found a deer leg here... yesterday we were hiking around 3pm and I spotted a mountain lion that was slightly bigger than my Weimaraner. Now I know who eats those deer....

mountain biking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Trail was nice but our poor dog picked up about 15 ticks :(

Sunday, April 23, 2017

so nice! nice shady trail with a small stream running next to it at times. took my dog on a Saturday and it wasn't busy at all!

Monday, April 17, 2017

I'd give Sullivan Canyon 3.5 stars. For being so close to Santa Monica / West LA, it's a great distance and easily accessible. Also a big plus that dogs are allowed, albeit they must be on leash (although this is not strictly enforced).

The prettiest areas are closest to the South trailhead, and it's a nice, gradual climb. As other reviewers mentioned, it gets a bit boring after 2-3 miles. Lots of mountain bikers, and relatively shaded on and off.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Although there was some beautiful scenery and the trail offered a good moderate hike it got boring after 3 miles. The flies on this trail were extremely annoying. The minute we stopped a swarm of flies would surround us. To get to the parking lot was a bit difficult as you have to drive about a 1/4 mile down a dirt road with large potholes. I wouldn't do this hike it again.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Easy access from the west side.

mountain biking
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Great trail for mountain bikers with a beginner-level bike!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Great walk with my dog. Narrow road for all bikers. Love the shade from all the trees.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A very straight forward trail and I do mean that literally as well as figuratively. It gets kinda boring because the first 3 or so miles in from the trailhead doesn't have much variation - you're walking on a gentle incline on a very straight and wide dirt/gravel path the whole time and it's not until right before the first 3 way junction to the Sullivan Ridge trail where the terrain and hiking becomes more interesting and challenging. The shade is nice but it's not so shady as say either of the Temescal Ridge, Rivas Canyon or Hondo Canyon trails. We added the walk up to Dirt Mulholland just to get some additional miles in - AllTrails says 10.1 miles out and back, where my Fitbit GPS says 10.49 instead. The smell of the clay/gravel and maybe the gas pipeline that follows you on the entire trail isn't particularly nice either - maybe it's just me but it kinda smelled metallic or dusty. Also lots of bugs which isn't a problem if you don't forget the insect repellant, but we did. Also as of today (June 2016) there was huge tree that had fallen down and landed right across the path. Mountain bikers and hikers alike had to stop and scramble over it whilst trying to avoid the poison oak and copious bugs. Also if mountain bikers aren't your thing, would suggest avoiding - this trail is so wide and relatively steady that it attracts bikers, some of whom obnoxiously tear down the path, leaving a wake of dust behind them even though there are bikers around. Maybe better for trail runners but as a hiker that enjoys varied terrain and different things to look at, this is one of the lesser trails to do. Glad I did it but don't feel the need to do it again anytime soon.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Lovely easy and quiet afternoon walk - went by public transport and walked up Old Ranch Road taking little horse trail off to right of road near end to reach the Canyon path (if you get to big gate at end you have gone too far). Then back by Sullivan Fire Road and Capri to Sunset. Bus 2 both ways. 4 hours from Sunset.

Monday, February 01, 2016

It was a really nIce hIke, it was really exciting because I didn't, in a great day I check it with my phone by my phone got wet, so so I repair I will post some pictures, I thought I was the only one doing in the rain but there were a lot of people, it's quite nice trail.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Very nice easy to moderate walk through a canyon. Pretty gentle . Parking is not great. The streets around the trailhead are residential and have various areas marked "No Parking 7am to 7pm" so you have to pay attention to the sigs. We crossed many more mountain bikers than hikers on the path. The hiking path is well defined and easy to follow.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Very cool view overlooking Santa Monica and the city on one side and Sherman oaks/the valley on the other. Easy to moderate hike.

mountain biking
Saturday, November 15, 2014

This is a gorgeous, shaded and easy mountain bike trail. Huge Sycamores line the path all the way, interspersed with huge old oaks. It is a gentle up hill climb until the end when it gets sharper up hill, and a fun down hill all the way back. Paradise found!!

Sunday, November 02, 2014

I came to a big gate that was blocked off as well. I ended up going onto Mandeville.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Closed off by a huge gate??? Am I at the wrong entrance???

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overall it was a beautiful hike, lots of greenery and wildflowers, perfect for spring. It was not strenuous, more like a nice stroll through the woods. Sadly didn't see too many wild creatures except for the palisades parrots and a California quail. The path is very dog and bike friendly. It was a nice break from the crowds at temescal canyon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Easy hike, though long. It's a very shaded canyon trail so probably good in the summer time. I went in the morning before work though (early November) and it was probably mid 40s the entire time. Because it was so early on a weekday (and cold) there was no one else on the trail besides my friend and me. It was kind of boring most of the way because there was no elevation gain and the same views over and over... until we got almost to our turn around point, heard a LOUD growl from the bushes up ahead and saw a flock of birds fly up out of it. It sounded like a motorcycle starting, but we knew it was a mountain lion. We couldn't see where it was because of all the shrubbery and bushes so we just turned around and hightailed it back. It took us half the time to get back than it did to get to that part because we were pretty alarmed.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

By far one of the better hiking trails in the area. Lots of big trees provide plenty of shade and a wide path for the most part. In general it's a fairly flat hike other than the initial hill which is tough at the end of your hike. Perfect for dogs however would definitely keep them leashes even for the most well behaved pet. I've seen snakes several times and with this being a popular trail for mountain bikers you could get run over easily if not paying attention.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The instructions to get to the trail head are not correct. Park at the top of Capri St and walk up to the path.

mountain biking
Sunday, November 10, 2013

best loveliest non technical mtn bike tall on west side

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This was a very lovely trail, the lightning is almost dream like, I was there with my two dogs and they loved it, it was a bit solitary maybe saw 5 people in 45-hour,
There are wild animals there apparently , since I did see a half eaten deer leg on the trail, but I was assured by a nice gentleman who is a regular to the trail that it is perfectly safe. After my freak out I relaxed into the surroundings and had a great walk.

trail running
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Decent out and back hike. I started at San Vicente Mountain Park and came out on the Sullivan Canyon Trail. The "trail" is actually a gravel road which also makes for a mellow mountain bike trail. Dogs are allowed on leashes. I went on a weekday and saw only 4 other people my entire time in the canyon. Most of the trail is shaded so its suitable for warmer days. The road does cross a stream bed multiple times but it was dry when I went. Also, there were no wildflowers =( Must've been the wrong time of the year. Tread softly and you may sneak up on a deer or two though. Overall nothing spectacular but it makes for a nice escape to (or from in my case) the mountains from the Brentwood/Pacific Palisades area.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is a great trail - but as Pierre mentions below the entrance for biking is off Mandeville/Queensferry - the single dirt trail from Queensferry to Old Ranch Road (private residential area) is for hikers and horses ONLY. This trail is NOT FOR BIKING....there are hikers and horses on this small trail and bikes are not supposed to be on this part of the trail. I have been encountering more and more and they are not respectful of the horses - they make this trail quite dangerous for the rest of us when using a trail that is not specified for bikes.

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