Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

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.

Great trail, though the last two times I’ve been here, cars have been broken into. If you have anything valuable, lock it and leave it out of view.

The actual trailhead was not well marked and not too easy to find-I followed someone’s recording to locate it. As description states, it starts off on a water runoff (cement) which then takes you to the dirt trail. Again no markers, just follow the app or recordings. I started at around 1:20p and ended right before 5pm, not doing the full loop I did a little over 8 miles. This trail is wide for the most part which gives you and the cyclists plenty of room. I ran into someone every maybe 1.5 miles or so, not many people on this trail. Wear your sunscreen and a hat as the trail is exposed almost the entire way and in summer not very forgiving. I would rate this one as moderate as I didn’t think the initial incline was enough to be “hard” and athough the trail is a nice easy incline the entire way you don’t notice it as much. This trail also links to backbone, skull rock and other trails. Nice scenery of the mountains, city and ocean below. Parking is either on the residential streets or a small parking lot (free) across from the trail head (which I missed).

hiking
15 days ago

Fun 7 mile loop through scenic Will Rogers State Park. The backbone trail on the way up is not well maintained which required a bit of foraging through the brush at the top. There was quite a bit of poison oak in the shade so be very careful. The left turn to start back down the other trail is very tough to find and poorly marked, we had to use our GPS to backtrack as we initially missed the left turn off the Backbone trail. The trail back down was difficult to follow and had some hairy incline. Hiking shoes are a must. We completed the hike in approximately 3.5 hours.

hiking
16 days 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!!

So awesome one of the best I've been on has everything for all levels and skills

Great place to hike. Go early in the morning because after 9am it gets packed.

great hike. have to say this is one of my favorite.. no dogs

This is a great hike. Took me 5 1/2 hours to complete, including the walk to and from Sunset to get to the loop. The whole trail is open, but many sections of the Backbone Trail are covered over by tall weeds. I think this will be a regular for me.

Great spot for a hike with a view of the ocean! Easy, short hike up to a large view of the pacific coast from Malibu to marina Del Ray. View of downtown LA. Good for all people. I usually bring friends here when they come to visit. I haven’t checked it out at sunset, but it’s on my list to do. Must see!

Deliciously challenging inclines followed by breathtaking vistas repeated so many times it would be boring if it wasn’t beautiful.

Beginning of trail was cleared but the rest was overgrown.

hiking
22 days ago

Drove here on an overcast Sunday morning at 9am. I had to park about 500 yards below the trailhead as there was a lot of cars already parked (which is no big deal at all, but something to be aware of). The hike itself is beautiful, with some cool views on the canyons and ocean. The hike itself was moderate, with a well kept trail and lots of flora. Not much shade so keep that in kind also. It was also quite busy, but due to the location and the cool weather this morning, that would make sense. I would come back here again for sure, maybe during the week though

mountain biking
23 days 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.

hiking
23 days ago

misty morning was perfect for this hike!

Started 8:45am. Weather misty entire hike. Started clockwise. 5.4 mi in, Will Rogers trail closed (why rated only 3 stars). Tried anyway: Trail completely overgrown, miner landslides, then heard large animal coming my way, so about 50 to 100 steps in turned around and returned way I hiked in. So only 10.5 mi hike. Hike up was beautiful though.

I'm glad I followed others advice and took the loop clockwise. It's always much easier for me going up steep paths than trying to go down. It was steep!
Not a big fan of hiking fire roads, but the views almost all the way were magnificent. It was cloudy so I wasn't able to see too far, but nevertheless what I could see was beautiful.
There's a short single path loop at the end before you turn around and go back, and there were more lizards there than I've seen in one place before.

To start the loop going clockwise, turn left as you enter the gate and go over the cement drainage to catch the path on the other side. At one point not too far after starting the breaks up, but I found it again by continuing straight forward.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hiking, we made the first view really easy and inspirational!

I really enjoyed this hike back when I did it. I wanted a hard hike and I was not disappointed. I started on the western half of the loop and agree that it is challenging. I chose it too because almost no one headed up that way and it made for a bit more solitude. However, I could not tell if the trail was overgrown because it used less or if it is more of a social trail. I hope it is not. Overall the view of the ocean, mountains and city are well worth the hike and effort. The eastern route is heavily traveled by hikers of all skill and variety.There is a pit toilet at the trail junction for the overlook a few miles into the hike.

This is my favorite hike! It is challenging, but rewarding when you get to the top. Oversees the ocean and lots of greenery. The first part of the hike has shade and has more trees and rocks. Once you get to the first view point, the view is beautiful. From there, you can continue up the dirt path. This part has a lot of uphill and very little shade. This is the most difficult part of the hike.

Amazing view on the bay once you get at the top. On your way up, which is non stop steep climbing and a great workout, beautiful view of downtown. One of the best hikes around LA, it’s kind of hard to beat it, indeed I’ve hiked it about 5 times already in the last two years. Not too crowded. Water is a must.

This is a beautiful hike with amazing views!Twice now I went the wrong way on the way down, but I figured out what I did and its fortunately only a small detour, if you take the wrong way you get off on paseo miramar entrance, which is kind of far from parking but after this last time I won't do it again haha! I'd rate this as moderate and there are benches along the way to stop at and enjoy the view of the coast :-)

Did the loop ... Went up the steep way ! Was quite the Climb ! If I do it again definitely going in reverse !!!

To find the trail walk down into the cement wash trail is all the way to the right

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this off Los Liones Drive in May 18th. Mid day. Temps were cool so it was an awesome hike. Did 7 miles out and back. Tons of wildflowers. Great views. Not too busy. One dog on leash.

This trail is great for exercise and endurance, and accurately right around 11 miles if you do the out and back part plus the loop. Some of these reviews point out not being able to find the loop, and that is because the counter-clockwise loop back (left side if you're looking on the map) is AWFUL. Even my AllTrails map - which saved me from getting lost many times - wasn't much help. Once you find the tiny entrance to the downhill path from the two overlook benches, the trail is immediately 2 miles of under-maintained, steep, rocky descent. I crawled or slid down the whole way aside from the few moments of flat walking. Highly recommend just turning back and going the way you came. It'll still be 11 miles total if you do the out and back part.

This is a strenuous hike that starts out pretty narrow, so if a lot of people are out and about, it can get impacted. Great views at several points. Beginning is shaded, then exposed. We haven't found the "loop" yet, if it's there, it's a pretty steep downhill path...

Did the loop counterclockwise...I suggest going the other way, if at all. The main trail is wide and smooth, so pretty easy going, but the super steep section that connects the benches at the overlook back down to the trailhead is unmaintained, slippery, washed out and over grown. Be prepared to use all fours. I found a hiking stick that saved my hide. Also, warning, lots of bees this time of year. Several times I was forced to plow through a buzzing bush and just hope for no stings. That section would’ve been better going up than down, but I will probably skip entirely if I come back.

Amazing views and great workout route. Its less crowded if you start the hike early morning, like 6am. I have been on this trail several times in the past 5 years.

Very crowded. Felt like Runyon Canyon West with the crowd.

It’s a good hike none the less. I went counter-clock wise and the incline did become a little relentless as previously posted. Great cardio if your running and looking for that sort of thing. The descent was pretty steep - be careful! If I did this hike again I would try it clock-wise and go up the steep ascent (shadier as well) and down the less steep Route.

This hike IS a loop. (Not sure why so many people have trouble finding the descent.) Just bring your phone the first time and follow the AllTrais map with GPS.

loved this hike! Don't stop at the waterfall, crawl up on the side and go explore :) it is a pretty short hike but fun for people who don't like to hike straight on a nice path as it is full of stones to climb on.

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