We were looking for some ocean views on a pleasantly warm fall day in November and stumbled across this little gem in Topanga State Park. It’s a relatively short drive from the valley up through Pacific Palisades on Sunset Dr. There’s plenty of street parking close to the trailhead on Los Liones Drive if the 2 lots are full. The trailhead is well marked at the end of Los Liones Drive with a large gate.
The 1st section of the trail is shaded in a canyon and relatively flat. Quickly you exit the canyon and begin climbing for a mile up to meet Paseo Mirarmar Trail a wide fire road. At this first intersection take a peak back and enjoy your view of Pacific Palisades and the ocean from a nice viewpoint. Bring lots of water for a sunny day as the majority of the trail is exposed and without shade.
Make a left at the intersection and begin climbing. You have to earn the view at Parker Mesa, it’s steeper than it looks and there wasn’t much wind that day so it was a bit of a sweatfest. It was hazy the day we hiked so the views of downtown LA were limited but the views of the ocean and south to Santa Monica were still superb. Since we had left late in the day (per usual) we had most of this section of the trail to ourselves.
After a bit of climbing and moving to the North the trail begins to level off and make a gradual U-turn to the west and south bringing you back to the ocean. At this point the views are quite limited but keep pushing on and you will be well rewarded at Parker Mesa your final destination. It’s a short and gradual climb to the south and you end up at Parker Mesa. There were loads of people at Parker Mesa enjoying the late afternoon views. I can’t imagine there would be a time this spot wouldn’t have gobs of people but it’s still worth it for the magnificent views you’ve earned of the ocean. On a good day Catalina is visible but this day we could make out Santa Monica in the distance. The views would be killer here the day after a rain storm.
We wandered around the mesa snapped a few pictures and made a quick return back to the car. I’d advise bringing poles to save your knees especially for the return trip back down. We made it back to the car before sunset. All in all a great way to spend a fall afternoon in LA.
Distance: 7.3 miles
Elevation: 1300 ft