Los Liones Trail Parker Mesa Overlook Topanga State Park sunset boulevard Palisades Hike

Los Liones Trail weaves through a lush canyon just a mile from the Pacific Ocean. Slivers of big blue sea can be seen from much of the ivy and chaparral-lined hike. After 1.3 miles and 550 feet of elevation gain, the trail arrives at a ridge-top clearing that looks down on the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and the ocean beyond.

Have a seat on the bench and watch slow moving waves roll up on the shore. The southward view extends to Palos Verdes Peninsula, and on a clear day, even Catalina Island is visible. Those eager for more can continue up the fire road to Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga State Park. Otherwise, return down the Los Liones Trail to complete a 2.6-mile out and back trek.

Los Liones Trail
The top of Los Liones Trail

Find the Los Liones Entrance to Topanga State Park on the right side of the cul-de-sac at the end of Los Liones Drive in the Pacific Palisades. Head north up the east side of the canyon on a dirt single track. Ivy hangs off the trees, creating a lush environment for a steady climb along the undulating canyon wall.

After 1/3 of a mile, look down the canyon for the first ocean view beyond the mount of the canyon.

Los Liones Trail
Los Liones Trail

Half a mile from the start, gain a clear view up the canyon toward the higher lands of Topanga State Park. The trail makes a sharp turn to the right as chaparral becomes the dominant vegetation. As the trail continues to climb, it angles southeast toward the top of the ridge neighboring the canyon, delivering expanding ocean views.

The first junction you will reach is with East Topanga Fire Road at the top of Los Liones Trail. Turn left up this wide trail to reach Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga State Park, 2.6 miles away. Otherwise, plop down on the bench just before the junction and admire the south-facing view of Santa Monica Bay. What a peaceful spot of a quick city escape!

Return the way you can for a 2.6-mile round trip hike. The hike up Los Liones Trail is most enjoyable in cool temperatures. When it gets too hot, the enclosed trail can feel more oppressive than enchanting. Dogs and bikes are not welcome, but no fee or permit is required, so get out and enjoy!

To get to the trailhead: Los Liones Drive is the second left off Sunset Blvd from PCH and is just 1/3 of a mile from the beach. Park on the right side of Los Liones, and enter the trail from the end of the cul-de-sac.

Trailhead address: 580 Los Liones Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Trailhead coordinates: 34.04727, -118.56007 (34° 02′ 50.17″N 118° 33′ 36.25″W)

Trail Map
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Elevation Profile
Click or hover over any spot on this elevation profile to see the distance from the start and elevation above sea level at that location, which will be highlighted on the map.

You may also view a regional map of surrounding Los Angeles trails and campgrounds.


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These photos were taken in February of 2010. Click to enlarge.
Nearby Trails
Parker Mesa Overlook TrailParker Mesa Overlook
This steep out-and-back hike rewards the effort with excellent views of the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Ynex Falls TrailSanta Ynez Falls
This 2.5-mile follows a shaded creek to a gorge containing a short waterfall.
Skull Rock Temescal Ridge hikeSkull Rock
This 1.5-mile hike descends Temescal Ridge to a head-shaped formation with great views over Santa Monica Bay.
Temescal canyon TrailTemescal Canyon
This 2.6-mile loop offers a variety of scenery and decent exercise, despite its relative brevity.
Santa Monica TrailMore trails in the Santa Monica Mountains
Explore other destinations in the range.
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Corral Canyon TrailCorral Canyon
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Grotto TrailThe Grotto
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Sturtevant Falls TrailSturtevant Falls
This 3.25-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
Hoegees Camp TrailHoegees Camp
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Ocean Views · Pacific Palisades · Topanga State Park
Distance: 2.6 miles · Elevation change: 550 feet

19 Comments on Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains

  1. Super pretty trail. I use this to get to the Parker Mesa Overlook. The trail is lush and mostly shaded and great fun to run, cause it’s narrow and the ground is kind of spongy for good shock absorption. Anyone know how far it is to Parker Mesa Overlook if you start at Los Liones instead of the other way?

  2. Zach Mandt says:

    Just hiked this yesterday and loved it! The los leones part of the hike was a little more suited to my tastes, as the trail wasn’t a fire road, and full of lush vegetation, whereas the trail from the junction to Parker Mesa was all dusty, well worn fire road. However, the effort was worth it as the sweeping panoramic views of the bay and city were breathtaking. Will do this hike again at night for a new view of the city lights.

  3. Mckenna Grace says:

    Loved this trail! I didn’t think it was that crowded (went around 3:30), and the terrain was challenging but not too difficult. I only did a few miles of the trail but what I saw was breathtaking. The views are incredible and entirely worth it. Thanks so much for all the info! Will definitely be hiking this trail again.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Are dogs allowed on this trail?

  5. Sun says:

    Seems like a nice one-way hike (Los Liones East Topanga Road 1.5 mile hike) if you can bring two cars. I like loops so you don’t see the same view twice, but they seem to be harder to find.

  6. alan says:

    This trail is right next to my new work. Are mountain bikes allowed on this trail???

  7. Marcia says:

    where is the best parking if you want to start at Los Liones Trail?

  8. Greg says:

    What kind of hazards are present? i.e. poison oak, ticks, rattlesnakes, etc.

  9. Asher says:

    I want to have a picnic birthday party for my brother… featuring a tethered hot air balloon rides. Is this a good place for this? Is it allowed?

  10. sonya says:

    This was a great hike and workout for me…took us 35 minutes up (stopped to rest a few times) and total about 1 hour 10 minutes. The view was so incredible and worth it – we could see downtown LA, all the way down to PV, Catalina, and Malibu. Will do it again for sure! A fellow hiker saw a rattlesnake but we mostly saw geckos/lizards and butterflies…

  11. Sandra says:

    I Want to go there tomorrow but I’m not sure if it’s ok to go since we have a few brush fires around the area? Is it safe?

  12. Natalie says:

    It will be my first time to go there. what is fire road all about? is there snake ? is there any waterfall?

  13. […] to los angeles for a meet up with our friend alyx schwarz and took a wednesday night hike on the los liones trail. quite honestly, there wasn’t too much hesitation in this. she asked if we wanted to partner […]

  14. […] Trail Guide: Los Liones Trail via Hikespeak […]

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