Explore the most popular views trails near Pacific Palisades with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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
3 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.

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.

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.

lots of shade in lush valley, and also good views on ridgetop

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.

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.

Easy access with reasonable amount of shade along the way. Big part of the trail is paved.

hiking
1 month ago

Parking is 12$ cash or card. The backbone trail condition is fine but has some really tall grass. Need to listen and watch out for a bunch of mtb folks without trail bells. The left turn on the Ridgeline trail is findable but is basically just a bunch of bushwacking, hunched down, scratching plants and trees overhead. We turned back.

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.

Nice hike and will definitely do it again. Unfortunately it was a bit too crowded up to the first view point but it does clear up after as you work your way to the top/midway loop point.

Had issues finding the entry point to the Rabbit Hole Trail (going up) but will give it another go next time I’m back.

Very heavily trafficked until you get to the out and back portion. Going counter clockwise on the loop portion, the second half on your way back down can prove to be very difficult if you don’t have trekking poles or experience.

2 months ago

beautiful, but crowded.

Los Leones is one of my favorite trails within the immediate LA area. Generally I’m searching for something harder, more technical, or at least with a little scrambling, but there’s just really nothing to not like about this trail! You’ll have a clear path the entire way on this out and back with no real way to get lost. I went on a holiday mid-day and was expecting it to be packed but was pleasantly surprised. The trail is generally more crowded up to the first overlook where many people turn back. There is an option to add miles with the east topanga fire road which will give you about 10.5 miles total.

I hiked this trail on my way to Will Rogers from the San Fernando Valley. It's a nice little hike with some spectacular views.

This is a vigorous hike. The trail was clear, but is was sometimes difficult to stay on track. The app really helped. It took me a little over 6 hours to complete this hike because of the heat. I would stop often to cool off whenever I could find some shade, which is difficult at times. I will do this hike again when it is cooler. There are a lot of uphill sections. Bring lots of water!

I'll do this trail again when there's actual water in the creek/waterfall.

I love this trail and as a local I go at least twice a month. In the summer you should definitely start as early as possible because there is little to no shade. It’s a beautiful view of the ocean with lots of wild flowers along the way. As someone hiking alone occasionally you can walk alone but have someone walk by every couple minutes.

Love this trail. Our early am workout in an hour or less. Beautiful!

Beautiful nature views of tree covered mountains, canopying trees over the path (doesn’t interfere with the walk!), & flowers. Waterfall was dry, but beautiful hike :)

hiking
2 months ago

This was a very nice trail. Would rate as easy-moderate. Definitely would suggest exploring each little treasure around during the hike. Adds more time but the graffiti art is very pretty.

Entrance is at the end of a construction road past a yellow gate once you leave the residential area. You’ll walk until you hit a fork- to the left there is a gate entrance and to the right is more paved road. Both loop around & bring you back to the beginning of the fork.
If you want a good butt workout, I would suggest going to the right. The end (left gate entrance) is a long flight of stairs that will definitely tire you out.

hiking
2 months ago

it was a solid hike. west side (left) to start. steeper incline. views of ocean. east side gradual descent. more rural. dusty trail so you will get dirty. good footwear recommended. i did it without water at 11 am and 83 degrees. it was fine.

Beautiful!!!

This hike is rated hard for a reason! I did the loop only which was clocked at 5.1 miles from the entrance gate. I went up counter clockwise, not sure if that was a good choice or a bad one. Either way is fairly brutal. If you go counter clockwise, you’ll start up the trail which is the most heavily trafficked (and also fairly well covered) right past the “trail” signs. This is a narrow trail which will take you up to the vista about 1.20 miles up. It’s an easy first segment and you can enjoy the awesome view at the top of the ocean and cityscape below. Then it’s on to leg burning time. Continue to head up the wide fire road (this is the right side of the trail on the map) - this is a long strenuous hike up, not extremely steep but it’s constant. Not many people venture this route, so it wasn’t heavily trafficked. I think I lost about 20 lbs in sweat during this segment. Keep going and eventually you will hit the mid point and can continue on straight to make this an “out & back” or go left past the bathrooms onto the “rabbit hole” trail (west side of loop). This trail is no joke, it’s super steep! I had to break off a stick (aka hiking pole) and at times get down on all fours just to get down some of the declines. This is a VERY narrow and very rocky trail, so slipping will occur, be careful. The trail is slightly overgrown so you do have some shade (watch out for snakes). Hike was a good heart pumping workout for sure, but the rabbit hole was a bit unpleasant so not sure I will do the loop again.
Parking is free - there is a small lot near the trail entrance and parking on the street - weekends get crowded.

Challenging but beautiful views and scenery

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