For a more curated experience check out trail guides from our partner publishers.
50 Trail Runs in Southern California
by Stan Swartz, Jim Wolff & Samir Shahin (The Mountaineers Books)
This run starts in a beautiful, cool canyon and continues across ridges with huge mountain and coastal views. This scenic run is challenging and can be hot, so be prepared. Will Rogers State Historic Park has water, restrooms, and a nice grass field for relaxing. Explore the home of cowboy, actor, and humorist Will Rogers and, if you are lucky, watch a polo game.
Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide
by John McKinney (The Trailmaster)
Ferns, falls, wildflowers and dramatic sandstone cliffs are some of the delights of a ramble through Santa Ynez Canyon. The canyon—and its waterfalls—can be reached from two trailheads; one is located at the edge of the tony Palisades Highlands development, the other is found in the heart of Topanga State Park. Santa Ynez Trail descends a ridge into Santa Ynez Canyon, then heads upstream to a 15-foot waterfall. Remember that the uphill part of this hike comes last; pace yourself accordingly.
This point-to-point course begins in a splendid canyon with numerous stream crossings. Heavy foliage makes this area cool and crisp in the early mornings. The canyon trail joins the East Topanga Fire Road and leads to Los Liones Canyon, featuring splendid views, dense foliage, and ivy-covered trees. An optional 1-mile side trip to the Parker Mesa Overlook rewards you with a 360-degree view of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean, making you feel like you are hovering in a helicopter.
This course begins in the cool Santa Ynez Canyon filled with large sycamores and oaks. In the summer months, the stream should be dry and easy to cross. The crossing can be more difficult during the rainy season, however. In the lower sections of the canyon, a lush canopy of foliage blocks direct sunlight. There are several areas where hearty patches of poison oak grow on both sides of the trail. You may need to slow down to avoid contact with it. A rugged climb up the Santa Ynez Canyon Trail will get your heart pumping. Panoramic views of both sides of the uniquely beautiful Santa Monica Mountains will elevate your spirits. The course ends with a 3-mile descent.
Best Easy Day Hikes: West Los Angeles
by Bryn Fox Pitterle (Falcon Guides)
This flat hike begins on an easy trail through a lush canyon,before branching off the main trail and following the creek.After a short ways following the creek, you can boulder hopthe last few hundred feet upstream as the canyon walls narrowbefore finally reaching a small 18-foot waterfall sittingin a peaceful sandstone alcove.
Day Hikes around Los Angeles
by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books)
This trail in Topanga State Park heads up the beautiful Santa Ynez Canyon. The sound of flowing water is constant during the hike as the trail leads to Santa Ynez Canyon Falls, a 15 ft. waterfall over sandstone cliffs. The hike includes many creek crossings using rocks as stepping stones. Santa Ynez Canyon is lush, forested, and cool with fern-lined pools and sandstone formations. In the early morning, you may hear the music of croaking frogs.
Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Twisted live oaks, sycamores, and pungent bay laurel trees highlight the brief trek up the L.A. coast’s most easily accessible waterfall-bearing canyon. The goal is an 18-foot cascade tucked into an upper branch of Santa Ynez Canyon. The flow of water in these falls is usually significant from winter through early summer.
Hiked from the Palisades side up the canyon to nearly the top, 3.0 miles round trip.
Typical pacific canyon hike up a narrow canyon lined with Oaks and Sycamores. Tried to get to the falls and pools, could not reach them. The trail is hard to follow and the rope that you climb up to the falls and pools was broken.
Don't forget to look for the small cave on your left. Look inside for a box with wonderful treasures in it. Leave something of yours as your mark of passage. It is fun.
The Sullivan Canyon Trail is much nicer and longer.
Beautiful trail, even though you are in LA you feel like being out in the back country. Fairly easy, just remember getting to the falls is the easy part since it's mostly downhill. Getting back up is a little tougher. Overall, I'd give it an A considering the proximity to a major urban metropolis.
Sign in/up to upload photos.