Los Liones Trail weaves up a lush canyon at the south end of Topanga State Park, just a mile from the Pacific Ocean. The ivy and chaparral-lined hike offers glimpses of Santa Monica Bay. After 1.3 miles and 550 feet of elevation gain, Los Liones Trail arrives at a clearing on a ridge at a bench that looks down on the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and the ocean beyond.
The top of Los Liones Trail joins East Topanga Fire Road. Those eager to hike farther can continue up to Parker Mesa Overlook, a sweeping viewpoint in Topanga State Park.
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. A big sign should make Los Liones Trail easy to spot.
Hike 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 mouth 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 hike to Parker Mesa Overlook, a great viewpoint from a higher ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains that is 2.6 miles away. Otherwise, you can return down the Los Liones Trail to complete a 2.6-mile out and back trek.
At the top of Los Liones Trail, take a load off. Sit on the bench just before the junction and admire the south-facing view of Santa Monica Bay. watch slow moving waves roll in toward the shore. The views extend down to Palos Verdes Peninsula. On a clear day, even Catalina Island is visible. What a peaceful spot of a quick city escape!
Los Liones Trail is a 2.6-mile round trip hike. The trek 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)
|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.
|Skull Rock |
This 1.5-mile hike descends Temescal Ridge to a head-shaped formation with great views over Santa Monica Bay.
|Temescal Canyon |
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.
|Corral Canyon |
This 2.5-mile loop offers ocean and canyon views from a unspoiled section of the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu.
|The Grotto |
This 3-mile out and back hike visits a remote grotto in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
|Sturtevant Falls |
This 3.25-mile hike visits a 60-foot waterfall and a lush cottage-lined canyon.
|Hoegees Camp |
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.