Posted by: GeekHiker | March 24, 2007

HIKE: Temescal Canyon

Temescal Canyon is just outside of Santa Monica and very popular with the locals, being only a quick jaunt from town.  Which probably explains why I’ve never done the trail before.  But a quick group hike on Saturday seemed like a perfect opportunity to try it.

After parking outside the park on Sunset or Temescal Canyon Road, or in the park for a fee ($5 as of last weekend), proceed up the canyon past the camp store, turning left up the viewpoint trail.  The trail will ascent the canyon wall, gaining 1,000 feet in about a mile.  As you come up to the top of the ridge, there will be a great view over the ocean, as well as south over Santa Monica and the coast.  You’ll also have great views into back yards of homes that, well, at least I know I’ll never be able to afford.  Not that that’s a problem: what would I do with all that space anyway?

Turning east at a junction, you’ll descent briefly down to a bridge crossing Temescal Creek at a waterfall.  In high water years, I’m sure the waterfall is very nice, but with the minimal amount of rain this year in LA, it was barely a trickle.  Finally, you proceed south down the canyon, eventually ending up under the shade of oak, sycamore and willow trees.  After passing several of the Temescal Gateway Park buildings, you’ll end up back at the parking lot.

It’s an easy trail and very senic, but fair warning: it’s very popular.  Don’t hike this trail looking for quiet solitude!

Total distance: 2.8 miles

Park: Temescal Gateway Park


Directions: From PCH (State Route 1), turn north on Temescal Canyon Road.  Proceed north 1 mile and cross Sunset Blvd. into the park.  Parking is $5.


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