Distance (round-trip)

7.4 mi

Time

3 hrs

Elevation Gain

926 ft

Season

Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter

Weather

A 7+ mile semi-loop in one of the Los Angeles area’s most accessible parks. Some classic, Sycamore-covered SoCal geography, with meadows, boulder formations and outcroppings, and rolling chaparral ridges. Excellent views of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Mountains and — if you’re lucky — the far reaching sprawl of the Los Angeles megalopolis.

Topanga State Park is the largest state park in the Santa Monica Mountains and the largest State Park inside L.A. City Limits.

What’s important is that the park is large, has a very-well designed and labeled system of trails, and is accessible from several different approaches. From the north, you can enter off Reseda Blvd. through Caballero Canyon Park, from the south, entrances are just off Sunset Blvd. through Will Rogers and Temescal Gateway Parks, or through the Pacific Palisades neighborhood. Or you can enter from the western end of the park, from Topanga Canyon’s Trippet Ranch.

I hadn’t been to this park in a long time, although it was one of the first places I started hiking in Los Angeles. On a Monday afternoon, the Trippet Ranch parking lot was almost empty, and the air had just enough of a chill to require long sleeves. In other words, perfect.

From Trippet Ranch, there are several options, and I decided to head toward Eagle Rock on the Eagle Springs Fire Road instead of taking the Backbone Trail / Musch Trail. I should note, however, that during the spring and summer, the meadows on the Musch Trail absolutely explode with color, and it’s definitely worth exploring.

The area around Trippet Ranch is still a working ranch, which means occasionally, a truck will find its way onto the fire roads that lace the mountains and canyons. Unfortunately, though, even all the horsepower of a four-wheel pickup is no match for a nice helping of rain in the mountains.

From the parking lot, you can either wind up the East Topanga Fire Road to the Eagle Springs Route, or you can proceed up the much shorter Nature Trail that passes a ranch building / education center. It’s a very short path, and dives under some tree-cover for a quick glimpse at some typical coastal range sycamores.

Shortly after that, you’ll find yourself on the Fire Road, which is wide, sandy, and well-maintained. If you’re hiking this in the summer, be aware that there’s almost no shade on any of the Fire Roads. What they lack in shade, though, they make up for in views. Almost immediately, you’ll be able to see wide-angle panoramas of Topanga Canyon and the rest of the Santa Monicas to the west.

And, as it had just rained, the air was clear enough for me to spot some of the more southern Los Padres Mountains, also-snowcapped from the recent storm.

After just over a mile of hiking on the fire road, you’ll start to make out the monolithic face of Eagle Rock, rising dramatically from the rest of the surrounding landscape.

Here, the fire road meets back up with the Musch Trail and splits into a lower road and more rugged, ascending fire road. The ascending road winds for another half-mile or so, and will take you to the top of Eagle Rock itself. There, you can (carefully) walk along the rock formation and sit near the edge for some great views. The less adventurous can chill out on an engraved park bench that sits just above the rock formation.

If all you’re looking for is a quick in-and-out, and maybe a good picnic spot, this should do the trick for ya. But I wanted to use all of the daylight hours of my surprise Monday hiking time … so after stopping at Eagle Rock for a few minutes, continued on the fire road eastbound. There were plenty of great north-facing views, as well as some distant views of the San Gabriels (I told you visibility is great after a rain!) and just generally nice scenery all around.

Once you reach “Hub Junction,” it’s less than a mile south to meet up with the Rogers Road Trail, which will be the only time you’ve stepped off a fire road on this route unless you chose the Musch Trail at Trippet Ranch. If so, it will be – by far – the most forested section of the trail for you.

You’ll only be on this trail for a very short time. Keep your eye peeled for a use-trail on your left hand side, and take this through a small scrub meadow and up to the unimpressive looking, but clearly marked Temescal Peak.

It is another nice place to stop and take a hike break, as well as gaze back at Eagle Rock — just for a good dose of perspective and scale.

I can’t vouch for non-post-rain views, but after a good sky-scrubbing, this peak sure makes for some great near-360 degree views.

From there, it’s back down to the fire roads and just under 3.5 miles back to Trippet Ranch. If you’ve got energy left, you can join the park’s joggers and try your hand at trail-running … or you can just take your time, and maybe get to enjoy the sun setting behind the mountains in front of you.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Modern Hiker, Author of "Day Hiking Los Angeles," Walking Meditator, Native Plant Enthusiast.

Camping

Multi-Use Trail

Views / Vista

24 Comments

Nicole Sarabia

Nicole Sarabia Jun 15, 2015 12:06In reply to: Nicole Sarabia

We did this hike on Saturday, It drizzled the whole time. So I was kind of wet and muddy. We tried to find the waterfall instead of Eagle Rock and did not go up the marked Eagle Rock trail but never found the waterfall - Is the Waterfall just past the Eagle Rock trail? It was a good leg and bum bum work out, all UP HILL! Round Trip we ending up doing 5 miles.

We are going to do it again in a couple of weeks.
Thank you for the write up everything was just as you explained. We got to the rest for your soul bench but it was too wet to sit on.

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Nicole Sarabia Jun 11, 2015 14:06

My BFF and I are going to try this hike for the first time on Saturday. Any current tips anyone can give us. We are runners, looking to change up the cardio and get into the higher elevations. Clothing Tips? Poison Ivy tips? We are new to hiking, but we both love nature and are ready to explore. Our plan is to start as early as they will allow us to.

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Casey Schreiner Jun 4, 2015 16:06In reply to: Adriana Chavira

Adriana, the Garapito Canyon Trail will get you up to Eagle Rock! It's a little over 3 miles one-way from the end of Reseda Blvd.

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Adriana Chavira May 12, 2015 20:05

Hi. Just wanted to check if the Garapito Trail (off of Reseda Boulevard) takes hikers to Eagle Rock or can we only view the boulder from this trail?

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Noble May 31, 2013 21:05

Parking is now TEN dollars in the Trippet Ranch parking lot. Kind of a rip off, but Eagle Rock hike is definitely a good one!

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Modern Hiker Jan 18, 2012 10:01In reply to: trumanjdo

Thanks for the update, trumanjdo - this must be a new development, as dogs definitely used to be allowed in the park.

That's unfortunate. Hopefully you didn't get in trouble for it!

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trumanjdo Jan 18, 2012 01:01

Dogs aren't allowed AT ALL in these trails. :(

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Eagle Rock Trail | Topanga State Park | Los Angeles | Hikespeak.com Nov 9, 2011 04:11

[...] Trippet Ranch to Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak on mho.dev [...]

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Eugene Jul 23, 2011 11:07

Just did this today -- thanks for a great guide -- EveryTrail sure makes it easy to find the right route. The use trail going up to Temescal Peak was well hidden, so future hikers should keep an eye out -- if you're on the Backbone Trail, the use trail appears after you come out from the shaded part -- you'll know it when you see it.

Also, watch out for lots of red ants on the peak -- we couldn't linger at all because they were swarming all over.

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Temescal Peak Trail | Topanga State Park | Los Angeles | Hikespeak.com Apr 14, 2011 04:04

[...] Temescal Peak and Eagle Rock on mho.dev [...]

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NateKat · Hike to Eagle Rock, Topanga State Park Oct 24, 2010 20:10

[...] to Eagle Rock. Modern Hiker, my favorite site for hiking inspiration in LA, has a detailed trip report so I won’t cover the details [...]

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Warren and Elena Roche Oct 12, 2010 22:10

Hi,
We own the Topanga Canyon Inn Bed and Breakfast. We are at the corner of Callon Drive and Penny Road. Just up from our Inn about 1/4 mile is a back entrance to Topanga State Park. From our Inn it is about one mile to what the old-time locals call Elephant Rock (and which the Park mistakenly calls Eagle Rock). Check out our website to get free trail maps.

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Uncle-Enrico Sep 22, 2010 03:09

Youtube on Eagle Rock
http://www.youtube.com/user/skipapa123?feature=mhum#p/a/u/1/hUxCW2gUn-s

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Hiking Topanga State Park Jun 20, 2010 20:06

[...] One of the draws of Topanga Canyon was the excellent hiking it offers. In planning our stay at Topanga Canyon Inn, we knew we’d want to begin it with a hike in the nearby state park. And as always, I turned to Modern Hiker for ideas on which ones to do.  We decided to park at Trippet Ranch and take the hike to Eagle Rock. [...]

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Chaz May 31, 2010 22:05

Great hike thanks for the suggestion !
the tiny caves in eagle rock itself make for some nice lunching areas...

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Modern Hiker May 3, 2010 08:05In reply to: YeaBaby

Do you mean adding a track to my post on EveryTrail or here? I'm not sure that's possible within EveryTrail - they're not taking the wiki approach to trail info.

By "clearly marked" I mean there's a clear cement post with a USGS marker on the peak, not that there are neon signs pointing you in its direction ;)

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YeaBaby May 2, 2010 20:05

Yea, OK so wanted to do this from another angle. I took the highest altitude trackpoint of your hike here and turned that into a waypoint then uploaded into the ol' real GPS. Which begets the point of if it is possible for you to add waypoints to your hikes or in EveryTrail? Needless to say, this is the only place I have found any sort of GPS coordinates for Temescal Peak so props to you. I came North on the Temecal Fire road trail [from Palisades Highlands] and did not see "clearly marked Temescal Peak" but maybe I did not go around the corner? There is a clearly marked sign to Backbone Trail are traveling South [only] that kind of wraps around Temescal Peak. A darned fine view it was up there at 2K'
BTW here's that coordinate [from your trackpoints] for Temescal Peak:
N34°06.1375' W118°33.2251' - Alt 2072.7'
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=pphfqv53mdx9&scene=6885916&lvl=1&sty=b&sp=Point.pphb9d53mg1r_34.1022916666667%2C%20-118.553751666667____&where1=34.1022916666667%2C%20-118.553751666667

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hubogsukat.com Blog » Blog Archive » Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak Jul 28, 2009 13:07

[...] on top of Eagle Rock July 25,2009. References to this hike can be found on Hiking Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak | Modern Hiker and Hike: Eagle Rock Loop « The (Single) GeekHiker. Took me about 3 hours to do this hike with [...]

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Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak « Jojo Kahanding’s Blog Jul 27, 2009 19:07

[...] » Right on top of Eagle Rock July 25,2009. References to this hike can be found on Hiking Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak | Modern Hiker and Hike: Eagle Rock Loop « The (Single) GeekHiker. Took me about 3 hours to do this hike with [...]

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brian Jul 20, 2009 10:07

we hiked this on Saturday (7/18) and it was definitely a switch from our last hike...Mt. Wilson via Devore Camp. We encountered a good number of mountain bikers, some runners and at the end of the hike some "city folk (aka non-outdoors type)" coming out to wander around. We started out at 8:30 and in retrospect should have started at 7:00 to beat the morning heat. It was okay albeit a bit boring from what I've been used to. I could see myself going back on the clear days in winter to get better views and for the days that I feel like taking it easy.

We did see four deer at the entrance to the parking lot. Tip...avoid the $8 parking charge and parking on the road off the pavement.

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Emily Jan 21, 2009 17:01

Great post. I just did this hike (with minor variations) over the weekend and it was phenomenal. Really well maintained and not too dusty, it was a great winter hike. I would imagine in the summer you'd really burn up on those fire trails. Thanks for the fantastic pictures!

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Topanga State Park on the Weekend Agenda — Outdoor Urbanite Aug 26, 2008 10:08

[...] Modern Hiker: Hiking Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak [...]

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Getting Your Girlfriend (or Boyfriend) to Hike at Modern Hiker Apr 25, 2008 09:04

[...] picnic tables if your significant other is adverse to sitting down on the ground to eat. If the Eagle Rock / Temescal Peak route is too ambitious, just head to the Rock and back or try the slightly shorter Parker Mesa [...]

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Pages tagged "eagle" Jan 14, 2008 04:01

[...] = "34d024"; var mooter_wrapper_url=""; var run_method = "onload"; var mooter_target = "0"; Hiking Eagle Rock and Temescal Peak saved by 4 others     emodemon21 bookmarked on 01/14/08 | [...]

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