Hikes in Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park preserves over 11,500 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains in a beautiful area north of the Pacific Palisades, east of Topanga Canyon, and south of Reseda (location map). The park is situated entirely within the Los Angeles city limits and is considered “the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city.” You certainly won’t feel like you’re in a city when you hike through Topanga State Park. Enjoy ocean views from chaparral-covered ridges or relax in shaded oak groves.

Topanga State Park Trail
East Topanga Fire Road in Topanga State Park

Numerous trailheads for Topanga State Park can be found along the park edges. For those who want to drive into the park, Trippet Ranch is the main trailhead, offering hikes to Eagle Rock, a summit of Swiss-cheese-like sandstone and Parker Mesa Overlook, a bluff with breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean. To see another sandstone creation, head to Skull Rock. For a short outing with soothing ocean views, hike Los Liones Trail. During the rainy season, fleeting Santa Ynez Falls is a fun target too.

Topanga State Park Hiking
Eagle Rock from Temescal Ridge Trail in Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park has one campground, an 8-site trail camp called Musch Camp, located about one mile mile from Trippet Ranch.

Directions to Tripet Ranch: Take Topanga Canyon Road inland from Pacific Coast Highway for 4.6 miles to Entrada Road (or from the 101 Freeway, drive 7.7 miles south on Topanga Canyon Road to Entrada Road). Turn east on Entrada Road and drive up the mountain for one mile, following signs for Topanga State Park. A $10 day-use fee is required to park a vehicle at Trippet Ranch, which is open from . Free parking is available along the road outside the park.

Trailhead address: 20829 Entrada Road, Topanga Canyon, CA 90290
Trailhead coordinates: 34.0933, -118.5874 (34° 05′ 35.87″N 118° 35′ 14.64″W)

Great Neighborhood

Topanga State Park is just one piece of a patchwork of parks in the Santa Monica Mountains. Several other parks, like Temescal Gateway Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park, border Topanga State Park, further expanding the hiking possibilities! Trails in and around Topanga State Park are shown on the interactive map below.

Hikes in Topanga State Park

These hikes are listed roughly from west to east and north to south. Sort the list alphabetically or by distance to pick the trail for you! The listed hikes link to write-ups with complete descriptions and directions as well as GPS maps and lots of photos – everything you need to get out and explore these trails!

Eagle Rock Trippet Ranch Hike245Eagle Rock from Trippet Ranch
This loop takes Musch Trail and Eagle Springs Fire Road to visit an exceptional sandstone summit in Topanga State Park.
4.5 miles
800 feet
Parker Mesa Trippet Ranch Hike250Parker Mesa Overlook from Trippet Ranch
This out and back hike from Topanga State Park's main trailhead leads to a bluff with immense ocean views.
6.7 miles
375 feet
Parker Mesa Overlook255Parker Mesa Overlook from Paseo Miramar
This steep out and back hike rewards the effort with Pacific Ocean views en route to an overlook perched above Santa Monica Bay.
5.7 - 7.8 miles
900 - 1,250 feet
Los Liones Trail260Los Liones Trail
This out and back hike visits a lust canyon with ocean views and can be used to reach Parker Mesa Overlook.
2.6 miles
550 feet
Eagle Rock Topanga265Eagle Rock from Santa Ynez Canyon
This out and back hike crosses a shaded canyon, climbing a ridge to summit a sandstone prominence in Topanga State Park.
7.4 miles
1,400 feet
Santa Ynez Falls270Santa Ynez Falls
This out and back hike follows a shaded creek to a gorge containing a short waterfall.
2.5 miles
250 feet
Temescal Peak285Temescal Peak
This pair of out and back hikes ascend Temescal Ridge to a summit with sweeping views over Topanga State Park.
5.8 - 7.6 miles
575 - 1,200 feet
Skull Rock Temescal Ridge290Skull Rock
This out and back hike descends Temescal Ridge to a head-shaped formation with great views over Santa Monica Bay.
1.5 miles
225 feet
Reseda Boulevard hike293Hub Junction from Reseda Boulevard
This hike from the edge of the San Fernando Valley goes through Topanga State Park to a scenic junction at the crossroads of the Eastern Santa Monica Mountains. Extend the trek to 6.85 miles round trip by summiting Temescal Peak or to 7.95 miles round trip by taking a loop to Eagle Rock.
5.3 - 5.45 miles
400 - 460 feet
Cabarillo Canyon hike295Caballero Canyon Trail
This out and back hike ascends a canyon to views over the San Fernando Valley.
3.4 miles
625 feet
Will Rogers Rustic Canyon315Rustic Canyon's Murphy Ranch from Will Rogers State Historic Park
This adventure visits the former ruins of a commune built by Nazi sympathizers in a canyon in Topanga State Park east of Will Rogers.
4 - 5 miles
225 - 950 feet
Rustic Canyon Murphy Ranch320Rustic Canyon's Murphy Ranch from Sullivan Ridge
This loop drops from Sullivan Ridge into Rustic Canyon, where hikers could visit abandoned buildings once occupied by Nazi sympathizers.
3.85 miles
325 feet
Sullivan Ridge325Sullivan Ridge
This out and back hike follows a scenic 6.3-mile long ridge on the east side of Topanga State Park
7.5 - 14.3 miles
1,200 - 1,350 feet
View Santa Monica Mountains in a larger map
Or view Los Angeles trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Arroyo Sequit Park Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Arroyo Sequit Nature Trail
Take a trip to Arroyo Sequit Park to hike a short loop through a tucked-away pocket of the Santa Monica Mountains, The park is situated along Mulholland Highway inland of Leo Carrillo State Park and below the range's most rugged peaks. The surroundings for this 2.05 miles hike are beautiful. Arroyo Sequit Nature Trail has 285 feet of elevation change, winding over and... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Nicholas Flat Trail Willow Creek Trail Ocean Vista Hike Malibu Leo Carrillo State Park Scenic Loop hike Santa Monica Mountains
At the west end of Malibu where Mulholland Highway meets PCH, you'll find Leo Carrillo State Park. Well known for its beaches and surfing, this park has offerings for hikers too, like the trek up Nicholas Flat Trail to an oak-wrapped grassland with a small pond, which is 7 miles round trip or more. For a shorter hike, combine the bottom of Nicholas Flat Trail with Willow... Read more.
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Tagged with · California State Parks · Leo Carrillo State Park · Malibu · Ocean Views · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 2.05 miles – Elevation change: 620 feet
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Nicholas Flat Trail Hike Malibu Leo Carrillo State Park Nicholas Flat Natural Preserve Santa Monica Mountains California
Nicholas Flat Trail is a three-mile long 'ocean to mountains' trail beginning within Leo Carrillo State Park, just across PCH from a famous beach at the west end of Malibu. The single-track trail travels up a coastal ridge past two vista points (and lots of other ocean views) to reach Nicholas Flat, where grassy meadows are rimmed by oak trees. A small network of trails... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: September 14, 2016
Dixie Canyon Park Hike Sherman Oaks Santa Monica Mountains
Dixie Canyon Park preserves twenty tucked-away acres in the Santa Monica Mountains on the north side of the range west of Coldwater Canyon. The park can be accessed from Sherman Oaks for a micro hike that is 0.55 miles round trip with 175 feet of elevation change. This partial loop follows a dirt single track that is narrow and sometime overgrown, finding shade from walnut... Read more.
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Tagged with · Sherman Oaks · Dog-Friendly Trails · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 0.55 miles – Elevation change: 175 feet
By: Published: Last updated: August 2, 2016
Glendale Peak Hike Griffith Park Riverside Trail East Ridge Trail Henry's Trail to Glendale Peak Trail Los Angeles California
Mount Hollywood and Mount Lee might get the bulk of the summit-bagging hikers in Griffith Park, but Glendale Peak is a fine target of its own, hosting grand views of downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, and the San Gabriel Mountains. The 1,190-foot peak pokes out above the southeast side of Griffith Park at the end of a ridge that runs down from Mount Hollywood. ... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Hollywood · Summits · Dog-Friendly Trails · Griffith Park · Santa Monica Mountains
Distance: 3.3 miles – Elevation change: 330 - 405 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 16, 2016