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Hiking

Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

Hiking is common in the Palisades, and the community is home to a number of hiking trails including the following trails:

Backbone Trail

The Backbone Trail is a long distance trail extending 67.79 milesBackbone Trail System Mileage/GPS Chart, National Park Service (109.10 km) across the length of the Santa Monica Mountains. The Backbone Trail runs through both Malibu and Pacific Palisades, with its western terminus in Point Mugu State Park in Malibu and its eastern terminus in Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. The trail is open to hikers throughout its length; dogs, mountain bicyclists and horseback riders are allowed on portions of the trail as posted. The Backbone Trail follows a well-maintained, single-track path with some dirt roads along the route. The trail is very well designed with climbs and descents occurring on well-graded trails full of switchbacks. The trail can be hiked in either the westbound or eastbound direction. There are no major differences between the two directions. Hiking westbound, you will progress towards more remote territory and can end your hike at the Pacific Ocean, but transportation may be more difficult from the Ray Miller Trailhead. There is no permit required for hiking the BBT.Santa Monica Mountains NRA – Backbone Trail (U.S. National Park Service). Accessed June 9, 2010.

Bushwacker's Delight

Bushwacker's Delight is a 0.8 mile lightly-trafficked point-to-point trail with 528 ft in elevation gain, located within Will Rogers State Historic Park. This trail is frequented by more-experienced hikers as Bushwacker's Delight is an uncleared trail with overgrown vegetation.

Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail

Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail is a 5.5 mile-long loop trail with 1,095 ft in elevation gain, located near the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. The trail is paved and well-maintained as it doubles as a fire road, and offers a number of activity options. It is most popular from September until May. This is one of the few trails in Los Angeles County which is open to those on horseback. This trail offers parking in the nearby lot for $10 a day, and is easily accessible from both the Palisades as well as neighboring Topanga. The Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail leads to Eagle Rock, a rock formation which is a common spot for photography as its peak offers sweeping views of the surrounding area and is home to a variety of native lizards.

High Point Trail

High Point Trail is 2.8 mile-long trail with 1,007 ft of elevation gain located in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooked the Palisades. High Point Trail is a paved trail that begins on private property, and hikers hiking this trail frequently trespass knowingly or unknowingly in order to complete the hike. This trail is noted for its wildlife, and although the trail is paved some parts are overgrown with bushes and other vegetation. The trail leads to "Goat Peak" which is of the highest points in the Palisades and offers sweeping views of the surrounding area.

Inspiration Point Trail

Inspiration Point Trail is a 2.1 mile-long hiking trail with 324 ft in elevation gain located within Will Rogers State Historic Park near the Riviera neighborhood. This is one of the oldest hiking trails in Los Angeles and was created by Will Rogers in the early 20th cenrury. Inspiration Point is one of the few hiking trails in the Palisades which is open to dogs. Inspiration Point Trail is one of the main attractions of Will Rogers State Park, and attracts hikers from across the Palisades and around the area as it is an easy hike with unique vistas of the Los Angeles Basin and Santa Monica Bay. On a clear day one can see views of areas such as Catalina Island, Chino Hills, and Saddleback Peak at the summit of this trail. Inspiration Point Trail also connects to the nearby Backbone Trail.

Los Leones Trail

Los Leones Trail, also known as Los Liones, is a moderately-challenging hiking trail located in the Castellammare neighborhood. Los Leones Trail is 7.3 miles in length, with over 1,300 ft in elevation gain. . Often spelled "Los Liones," the area is named after the mountain lions that are common in the area.

Los Leones is one of the most-popular hiking trails in the entire Westside, and the trail weaves through a lush canyon with abundant green vegetation located in the southern end of Topanga State Park, just a 1/3 mile away from the Pacific Ocean. The ivy and chaparral-lined trail offers some of the best of Santa Monica Bay. After 1.3 miles and 550 feet of elevation gain, Los Liones Trail arrives at a clearing on a ridge with a bench that looks down on the Palisades, Santa Monica city and bay, and the surrounding area. The top of this hiking trail joins East Topanga Fire Road, which leads to the Paseo Miramar Trail which leads you deeper into the Santa Monica Mountains. Continuing on the trail you will reach "Parker Mesa Overlook", which is known for offering some of the best views of the coast of any hiking trail in Los Angeles. the area consists of a flat plateau area with sweeping views of the coastline.

Murphy Ranch Trail

Murphy Ranch Trail

Skull Rock Loop

Skull Rock Loop is a 4-mile-long loop trail with 1,141 ft of elevation gain located near the Temescal Canyon neighborhood. This trail is frequented by both rock climbers and birders, as it is home to both rocky terrain and an abundance of different bird species. Skull Rock Loopnbranches off from the nearby Temescal Canyon Trail, and features a waterfall as well as its namesake "Skull Rock" which is rock formation names for its resemblance to a skull. The entrance to the trail offers free street parking or a daily rate in the nearby parking lot for $12.

Trailer Canyon Fire Road

Trailer Canyon Fire Road is a 4.3 mile-long trail with 925 ft in elevation gain located near the Summit development in the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. This trail is wide and paved as it doubles as a fire road, it is also used by mountain bikers and birdwatchers. After 1.5 miles this trail connects with the nearby Temescal Ridge Trail, which takes hikers to the Temescal Gateway Park. Trailer Canyon Fire Road has views of the ocean and Temescal Canyon.

Will Rogers Trail

Will Rogers Trail is a 4.1 mile trail with 449 ft in elevation gain located within Will Rogers State Historic Park. This trail is one of many trails located within the Will Rogers State Park, near the Riviera neighborhood. Will Rogers Trail is known for being very challenging even for experienced hikers, as it is not very well-maintained, and there are signs on portions of the trail which point this out. Those hiking this trail may have to scramble on stones through the underbrush to avoid falling into the nearby creek. During the winter months the creek often overflows its banks, obscuring the trail and making this trail even more treacherous.