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.
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.
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)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding Los Angeles trails and campgrounds.
|Parker Mesa Overlook|
This steep out-and-back hike rewards the effort with excellent views of the Pacific Ocean.
|Santa Ynez Falls|
This 2.5-mile follows a shaded creek to a gorge containing a short waterfall.
This 1.5-mile hike descends Temescal Ridge to a head-shaped formation with great views over Santa Monica Bay.
This 2.6-mile loop offers a variety of scenery and decent exercise, despite its relative brevity.
|More trails in the Santa Monica Mountains|
Explore other destinations in the range.
This 2.5-mile loop offers ocean and canyon views from a unspoiled section of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu.
This 3-mile out and back hike visits a remote grotto in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
This 3.25-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
This 4.25-mile hike follows Lower Winter Creek Trail through a beautiful wooded canyon to a backcountry campground with fourteen first-come first-serve sites.