24 July 2011

Los Liones

Topanga State Park

Map the trailhead.

This is another hike done with a group of geeks from the LA chapter of Hike the Geek. Heading out from any of the parking lots along Los Liones in Topanga, the trail runs parallel to the road, then starts to climb up a tight cabin at a very shallow grade with many switchbacks. The canyon somehow manages to change a bit with each of these switch backs. Many smaller trails meander this way and that, but they seem to often go nowhere rather than being shortcuts. Eventually it hits a fire road which is somewhat steeper until it flattens out. It follows a ridge and more side trails give access to the various small peaks along the way for more views. Eventually it gets to a large overlook with ocean views. There is a use trail that proceeds back down a second ridge line, hitting every peak along the way, in a more direct route back to the parking lots. These were hiked in a loop.

a glimpse of ocean while climbing up the canyon
Climbing up the canyon along trail and getting a first glimpse of the ocean beyond. The canyon is lush and green, spots of the green are even high water needed sorts of green. There's some shade from trees.

starting to see Santa Monica
How the other 1% lives. As we get higher in the canyon, we see more and more of civilization including close looks at luxury homes.

lizard on the trail
Of course, there's some wildlife around no matter how much a place is surrounded by people.

the costal edge becomes visible
Climbing higher, the high density areas by the ocean become visible.

once on the ridge, get to see inland
Once the trail joins up with the fire road, there are views in more directions. Now the mountains headed inland can be viewed.

a little farm growing houses that are all the same
A house farm on the mountain side of the ridge line.

Santa Monica from above
The fire road comes around toward the ocean again, giving a wide view of the water.

baren ground where the visitors have tread everywhere
The top of the mesa has been stomped clean of vegetation. One of a few benches along the way is at the top.

sketch of 2 photos up
We dallied a while at the top in view of the ocean that was so very very blue (as was the sky) and I got to sketch some. I chose to do so with the blue.

sky begining to turn colors over Santa Monica
Then the sky began to turn color, so we had to leave. This was by way of the trail directly across the dirt from the incoming road.

more colored sky
The sun is surely setting.

a strange artifact behind Carol
A telephone box randomly situated along the ridge. Or it might have been one maybe. Or just an electric junction. The box was rather empty.

Getty Villa from above
And we got an uncommon view of the Getty Villa.

The use trail turned out to be quite steep in places, but was well established. It came out at the top of the church that is at the end of the road, so we could follow the road, or job back over to the paralleling path, to find our way back to the cars. It was commented that never have we worked so hard to go downhill.

©2011 Valerie Norton
Posted 25 August 2011

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