Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hike to Parker Mesa Overlook

I try to avoid hyperbole. So let's just say that my hike today in Topanga State Park (from the Trippet Ranch parking area to Parker Mesa Overlook) is possibly one of the most beautiful hikes you can do in the lower 48.

And it's really easy.

Following a fire road, the trail traces a high ridegline that, for the most part leaves you exposed to a view at almost any moment. It's chaparral country and the colors are outstanding.

But it's... just so much more.

I've hiked Topanga once before and, like today, there is the take-your-breath-away moment when you come over a rise or around a bend and see the Pacific from high above. But I don't know of any hike I can find where I can see all of the following on the same hike, often at the same time:

  • The ocean
  • Snow-capped mountains
  • Palm trees
  • A city skyline
You might get two of those a lot of places. Three is possible in a handful of areas. All four... maybe right here in Southern California and maybe the Marin Headlands near San Francisco.

But if we add a fifth qualifier - that the entire hike must take place within the city limits - I'm guessing this is the only one.

Yes, friends, I didn't leave LA for the hike. It's still technically in the city. And that, too me, is what's truly amazing.

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