So You Want to Hike in Topanga? Here Are Your Main Options
I hike in Topanga a lot. I love it, and am still finding new small trails off of the major ones. I often get asked what the best hikes are here. Honestly, they're all great. It just depends on what you're looking for. Here's my basic guide:
- •Red Rock ➡️ Summit to SummitVery exposed to sun, out and back, beautiful rock formations. Take the main trail in the park, and when it dead ends, make a right. It takes you to some of the highest parts of Topanga. Dog friendly.
- •Red Rock ➡️ Boy ScoutFairly exposed out and back. I'm not sure if Boy Scout is the proper name, but about a quarter mile along the main Red Rock path, on your right you'll see a series of rotting stairs, built by some Boy Scouts in the 90s (if I remember correctly). It's short and has a hidden bench toward the end of it. This one is lovely on a gloomy day. Dog friendly.
- •Backbone ➡️ SaddlepeakThe shadiest trail in Topanga. An out and back that has fewer great views, though still very pretty. It's all switchbacks, and if you want to go all the way up to Saddle Peak road, you'll be going about 6mi one way. Pick it up a quarter mile north of town along Old Topanga Road. The only signage to spot it is a tiny yellow marker on a telephone pole.
- •Topanga State Park ➡️ Musch TrailA nice, moderate hike that leads to the main Topanga trail. It's got both shade and exposure, and passes some beautiful oat fields. Once you arrive at the top, you can take a left and head to Eagle Rock, or go right and make your way down to the main parking lot. 2.5ish miles from the parking lot to the main trail, and then another 2ish miles back to the parking lot. Go during magic hour for to see some golden waves of grain. This is usually where I take people for their first Topanga trail.
- •Topanga State Park ➡️ Eagle RockRelatively exposed out and back. The views until you get to Eagle Rock are pretty but not stunning, but climb on the rock and see a gorgeous vista all the way out to the Pacific. Bonus: find the secret caves beneath the main surface of Eagle Rock. They're dope, but you'll have to crawl on your belly.
- •Topanga State Park ➡️ Santa Ynez FallsThe only downhill hike. An out and back (unless you want to get picked up in the Palisades). Very shady once you get to the canyon floor, but thick with poison oak. Wear long pants, and wait for the rainy season if you want to see any actual water. Also, you'll be crossing a stream a couple times, so consider your footwear.
- •Topanga State Park ➡️ Pacific PalisadesExposed out and back. You could go for miles if you wanted, into the Palisades. There's a bench on the edge of a cliff about 3+miles in. Lovely views of the Pacific, the Palisades and western Topanga.
- •Summit to Summit (heading south)Flat, exposed out and back (unless you want to find yourself on the fire road above our block). Pretty views of Calabasas, and great little hills along the sides of the main trail you can hike up if you're feeling like a challenge. Dog friendly.
- •Tuna CanyonShort out and back. Go left and find a beautiful labyrinth that overlooks LA proper, or go right toward gorgeous Malibu views. Dog friendly. Great for sunsets. Probably the favorite of @dev