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

Riviera, California Map

I love this area you feel like you and some other country is such a beautiful beautiful lovely

Tried to do this hike on 12/9/18. The southern most part of the trail along the creek seemed to be washed out or very poorly marked. Gave up on the hike because it seemed like there was no trail and it was getting close to sunset. Turned an intended 4.6 mile hike into a 10 mile hike as I backtracked most of the trail.

trail running
2 months ago

Good trail run. Easy to maneuver, lightly trafficked.

Great hike. Many interesting things to see.

i did this tail about a year ago. the first half of the loop was fun but after the decent, well, i didn't expect to be knee deep in creek. i had a friend with me who very much did not like the second half of this trail.

trail running
6 months ago

Please be careful if you do decide to attempt this counter-clockwise.

I made the mistake of assuming this will be a reasonably moderate adventurous run (since I'm very familiar with the trails around here and am often found there when not working). The trail is washed out so you'll be bouncing left and right across the creek quite often. It gets slippery at certain parts (when most of the rocks have algae / moss). If you're careful and have good traction shoes, that part can be doable. But please be careful! Now when I hit the artificial waterfall, I didn't see anything there (I somehow missed the rope leading up the wall). I instead traced back 0.1mi and found a way to scramble up on the left side to what seemed to be a trail. I had tried to go somewhere on the right but the gates were all locked up and my mab showed that left side was reasonable. But I think the trail I ended up on was abandoned, since it ended. I slipped at one point and kept on sliding. Managed to find a way to hold on to branches, and out of fear of falling kept going up, holding on to whatever I can (which is hard given that there were only a few degraded sandstone pieces that were breaking off, a minimal amount of branches, and lots of dead leaves.) Ended up needing rescuing. Never thought I would ever need that in my life, and certainly not in my backyard.

I admit my decision-making seems off (fear does wonders), but please be careful and don't underestimate this path. And as people suggested, perhaps try to go clockwise or go with a few friends so you can keeo each other in check and not get lost / hurt.

Enjoy the trails and be smarter than me!

We did this hike on April 12th. The front side of the hike is great, easy assent and beautiful views. The back side is a different story. After you reach the top you will wind your way around to a small trail that switchbacks down the slope, this trail is nice and easily navigable. At the bottom you will find some of the abandoned structures that are shown in the photos above. After this point the hike becomes rapidly less enjoyable. The trail is not maintained and you are essentially hoping back and forth from on side to the other of a creek. This annoyance was compounded by the large amounts of poison oak, if we hadn't both had long pants and sleeves we wouldn't have made it out without having some rashes. We are both seasoned hikers and enjoy difficult and technical hiking, but the backside of this trail is just pointlessly frustrating. My suggestion is to make it an out and back to the top.

10 months ago

Loved this trail for 4 out of 4.8 miles(going clockwise) BUT as many reviews (and park ranger will tell you) it just vanishes in the lowland swampy area. You can do it but give yourself plenty of time, light and phone battery because it’s not maintained at all.

Otherwise, this hike is fantastic, great elevation, beautiful vistas, lots of cool canyons and mountains back there.

Watch out for poison oak on the back side (going clockwise) it’s EVERYWHERE.

Not well maintained, trail difficult to follow

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Really hard to find the trailhead (our GPS was off), but the loop was nice once we got going. We trekked clockwise, so there were great views for the first third, followed by a steep decline into the canyon (watch out for loose rocks), ending with a pretty technical ~1.5 mile stretch through the riverbed. Decent outing for sure, but you absolutely MUST check yourself for ticks afterwards.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Great hike but I only did one half of the loop because I got a little lost. I started at the inspiration point around 3pm. I missed the trail that leads to the creek(maybe because of the overgrown land?). But then it felt like I was getting no where and there aren’t many signs, only the “backbone trail” one. I got service and realized I just kept walking straight and I was already about 2 miles away from the rustic loop trail. Can be pretty adventurous and spooky at 6pm. So make sure you go with enough day light, or just don’t get lost like I did hah

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Some gorgeous views from along the ridge, although at the moment the trail portion along the creek going out from Will Rodgers is overgrown and not easily passable. Can be a cool setting but it is tough going along the creek.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Actually hiked this last week -loved it!! Started at end of polo field - counterclockwise. Once you get to the creek, you will be crossing back and forth. Someone has used red paint to try and help people stay on the trail, but it's easier to see if you are heading clockwise. You start on the west side of the creek, but pretty quickly cross to the east side. As soon as you cross keep looking on the opposite side for the trail to pick up. You will be going back and forth far awhile! When you get to the waterfall, and you don't feel like using a rope to climb up the wall near the waterfall - approx .05 - .1 miles before the waterfall, look on the opposite of the creek and you will see stairs going up. At the top of the stairs, very quickly, you will see a path on your right which will take you to the top of the waterfall. From there, just scramble up the hill and continue with the loop! Recommend wearing shoes with a lot of tread so you can get traction crawling over the boulders in the creek and scrambling up the hills (at times I was grabbing the roots of various bushes to help pull myself up!) Challenging, but incredibly fun!!!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

This is a hard trail in the sense that when you get to the creek the path deteriorates fast. There are a few ribbons and graffiti along the way to let you know you're ok. If you follow the water down you will eventually get to a sign that says Trail End. And then you go right (another sign saying Will Rogers).

Do this hike when there is no rain. The riverbed will fill up a lot and cause slippery and water hazard conditions. Also, wear pants and throw on some bug spray for good measure.

It's awesome and fun.


Monday, September 11, 2017

If you’re bringing children, a dog, or anybody afraid to descend rock faces, don't do the whole loop. If you aren’t taking any of those things and want to do the whole loop, go clockwise. The eastern half of the loop, along Rustic Creek, is poorly defined and dangerously steep in some places. Seriously, there are one or two sections where you have to ascend/descend 25 feet up a near vertical rock face and sometimes the only apparent route forward is to walk in the creek. Stay near the creek, as getting lost is very easy. The brush is overgrown. Avoid the poison oak.

That said, the challenge of this section made hiking it a rewarding experience. But it's definitely not for everybody.

In contrast, the western half of the loop, up the backbone trail, is beautiful. It is well maintained and the views are great. It wasn’t crowded even on a Sunday and suitable for any hiker or dog.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Great hike loved the views...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Great hike loved the views...

Friday, July 07, 2017

Went counter clock wise into the canyon. Took us the wrong way and led us climbing the side of the mountain. The map said we were in the right spot but we were not, I slipped and tumbled 20 feet but luckily clinged to a tree branch. DO NOT RECOMMEND. Trail is terribly marked in the swamp and you got lost so easily. Go clockwise up the inspiration point trail. That way is beautiful

Monday, June 26, 2017

I haven't done hiking for a while before I decided to go on this trail. My husband and started on the eastern side and I'm glad we did. I can't imagine how average hiker will deal with it. It's not so moderate - you basically have to climb the rock at your own risk. For us it was very adventurous and fun, but looking back now I think we were "playing with devil" going up the pretty steep rocks without any insurance. Overall I have say if you're an experienced hiker you'd love doing this hike, it gives a variety of challenges and the views are breathtaking, but if you're not, then better stick to the Inspiration Point trail.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thinking of taking your dog here? DONT.

If you decide to go here make sure to take military 8 inch high boots so that you don't have water getting in your shoes. But even then you'll still need some gators. The eastern portion of the hike down Will Rogers Trail is not visible. It is literally walking thru the river in water that is stagnant and so full of algae it clings unto you.

Also, make sure you have the downloaded maps or an actual map because the trail has not been kept in years and half the time you'll be deciding wether you're still on the trail. By the way for some of you adventurer folk that seek to go here when the river has not subsided to an acceptable level, beware: DEATH!

If you were to go thru this river while it is high you wouldn't make it out. Even while it's low at 6 inches--4ft in some places, the algae causes you to slip. Trekking poles would be of no use as you are basically walking thru the river and playing 'Chicken Limbo' underneath tree trunks.

Furthermore, please do not subject your dogs to this hike it is horrible for them. My dog made it but we have been hiking for a while since she was young. As for other dogs they need to be carried thru major portions of it. Either way, it is completely unenjoyable for them. Good luck. Make sure to have your hands free so that you don't crack your head open when you slip.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Whoever marked this trail as "moderate" probably did not do the full loop as it is shown. I started at the polo fields parking lot and went counterclockwise, starting with the creek portion. The maintained trail officially "ends" when you reach the creek, so to continue on the loop as shown on this map there's about a mile or two of leaping on boulders across the stream, traversing the steep and slippery rocks on the side of the stream, ducking under and climbing over fallen trees, grabbing onto branches so you don't fall in the water, and when you reach the waterfall, using a rope to climb straight up a rock wall 20 feet. Moderate, my ass. There's a reason why most people who track this trail don't complete the full loop as it's mapped. That being said, the hike is a lot of fun. Just be prepared to use your hands, get dirty, muddy, and very creative.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

If you would like it to be easier I would suggest going down the mountain instead of up. It was helpful to have gps on this app since the trail isn't always marked.

Tried to do the canyon part of this hike and the trail was closed. It says it is closed until June 15, 2017. So FYI. I ended up doing the inspiration point trail and then added to it by going up to the junction where you would head back down into the canyon past the highest point of the rustic loop. Then I turned around and came back down the way I came. Good hike even thought it wasn't what I had set out to do. The hike up wasn't that hard even though you go 900ft.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We did the hike counter-clockwise, ascending up Rustic Canyon.

The biggest issue is the over-grown factor when you're going up Rustic - plus there is a ton of graffiti. Once you get to the backbone you're 70% complete, and the views are fantastic.

Next time we'll probably skip the loop and do it clockwise - and once we hit the ridge just turn around and make it an out-and-back.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Definitely not for beginners. The start of the trail from the end of the Polo field is sign posted "not maintained" they're not kidding. After the first part of the trail winds off down to the creek bed the trail literally does not exist for a mile. So only walk this way if you plan on scaling rocks and getting wet. If you walk into the trail past the dry creek going clock wise from inspiration point then only traverse the creek if you are experienced.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Great trail for more experienced hikers! We took the trail clockwise starting from the top of the canyons which has some amazing views of the coastline from Malibu all the way down to palos verdes. About two miles in it takes a turn down deeper in to the mountain where it's pretty steep and rocky. Not too bad but then it starts to get harder once you reach the waterfall where you have to find your way down (about three stories from the top) and the trail is much harder to find. After finding our way down past a beehive and swarm of bees we followed along the river where the trail is sometimes on and off the river. There are some parts where you need to cross the water and or climb rocks along the side where you can easily lose your footing. We did consider turning back because we were pretty stumped on how to continue along the trail, almost went in to panic mode when we thought we were lost and would have to go all the way back lol. Once you reach the end of the river/trail you'll see the orange sign telling you the trail ends. Best feeling ever. Definitely one for the books. Oh and beware of beetles doing yoga, do not crush them

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Beautiful and varied scenary. Painful descend with many rocks at one point. Great time doing the backbone series with girls who hike LA! ☺️❤️

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Unfortunately I failed it! Went counterclockwise and lost trail just passed the water fall area. It is not well maintained but it has amazing sight! Had lots if fun and will be back to conquer it! Ita more of a harder short trail ! You will get wet!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

It's tough and beautiful. The first quarter of the hike is deep down in the canyon, following a creek which we had to cross at least 10 times, including some climbing. That strenuous part of the hike took us about half of our total time. Please note: the trail is NOT MARKED and NOT MAINTAINED! You must have a sense of finding the right way, otherwise this hike is not the right one for you. After that it is a nice uphill to the top of the backbone trail, leading you down from there to the parking lot with beautiful views from downtown LA to Santa Monica. It's tough but definitely my favorite trail in the SM Mountains.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Went to hike this because of all the wonderful reviews and the recent rain would make for a great waterfall! We got half a mile from the trailhead and had to stop because we lost sight of the trail with the stream and the overgrowth! We later saw a warning for poison oak, bee swarms and snakes!

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