Santa Monica, CA
Pathfinder | 91 pts
This trail was a very pleasant surprise. I've done the Temescal Canyon trail (which is just a little further down the road on Sunset) many, many times so I was looking for a little change of scenery. Well I got exactly what I was looking for and more. We parked just outside the park entrance to not have to to pay the $12 PARKING/Entrance fee - which I think is obscene (but that is another discussion completely). We walked in and through the horse stables and then began up the Will Rogers Trail. About a 1/2 mile up the trail is the beginning of the Backbone trail which (when completed) will traverse the entire Santa Monica mountain range). A hiker coming down recommended it to us and I am in turn, recommending it to you. Absolutely amazing! There are phenomenal views of downtown LA and the west side as well as an incredible sense of isolation when you turn your back to the city and look Westward across the mountains. The trail is truly on the backbone of the mountains and you can see shadows of ridges and hilltops all around you. We hardly saw anyone on the trail (which is rare in LA on a Saturday) and quite a bit of wildlife. You can continue on this trail all the way through Topanga and on to Point Mugu which is where it terminates. A great, great trail really close to the city.