Parker Mesa Overlook

  based on 2 reviews   write a review

Topanga, California

Parker Mesa Overlook Topanga Reviews

breezejen breezejen
33 reviews
Parker Mesa Overlook via Paseo Miramar Mar 31, 2010
This is another one of my favorite hikes and although the end result is the same as Parker Mesa Overlook via Entrada, they are entirely different. I can’t say which one I like better because each one has their unique qualities. If I’m in a hurry and don’t want to make the drive up the coast, this trailhead is much closer for me, it's just off of Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades.

If you travel from Los Angeles heading west on Sunset (ie towards the ocean), turn right on Paseo Miramar. Take Paseo Miramar until it ends. Parking is sometimes a challenge especially on the weekends or on nice, sunny days. However, it is free, just read the signs carefully.

The trailhead is at the end of the road. There is a selection of hikes to take and if you want, you can hike for hours. This trail is a little more difficult than the trail from Entrada. Much of it is uphill with very little shade. You do get the views of the mountains towards Parker Mesa and there are wildflowers and little critters on this trail as well. One thing I have noticed is that since there is little shade on this trail, I’ve see a lot more snakes especially on warmer days. I’ve seen and heard rattle snakes but since the trail is wide, you can avoid them. I’ve seen other snakes but I’m pretty sure they are harmless, but they do give you a quite a fright nonetheless.

The first 25 minutes of this hike is pretty brutal, it’s mostly uphill and will get your cardiovascular system pumping. It’s definitely a good calf and glute workout. The second half of the hike is a little milder with a more friendly incline with some flat and shaded areas. At the end you reach Parker Mesa Overlook.

You take the same trail back to the car. But my favorite part of this hike is that it’s also one of my running trails. So what I generally do is hike to the overlook and run back to the car. The run is great! There are only two big hills. The rest of it is downhill or flat (get to work on the eccentric muscle contraction). The hike back would be a bit too easy so I like to challenge myself a bit and run it. The views are inspiring but make sure to watch your footing, there are a lot of loose rocks on the trail and you could turn an ankle.
Trailhead at the end of Paseo Mira…
Little shade
Big spider in the brush on the tra…
Spider web
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
vulindlela says:
Posted on: Apr 05, 2010
Koralifix says:
Congrats on this featured review! Good on you!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2010
TravellingAuntie says:
congrats! sounds like a fantastic hike! I used to hike up around Yerba Buena and Leo Carillo all the time - beautiful country. Enjoy!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
breezejen breezejen
33 reviews
Parker Mesa Overlook via Entrada Mar 30, 2010
This is one of my favorite hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. For one, the drive to the trailhead is gorgeous. I have to drive about 8 miles up Pacific Coast Highway and on a clear day, the views of the beach and the ocean are spectacular. The wonderful drive continues even off of PCH on Topanga Canyon. Imagine one of the car commercials with the winding roads and sweeping mountains and lush valleys. I absolutely love this drive, but you’ll have to dodge the bicyclists making the torturous ride uphill. The best reward is that at the end of the drive there is always plenty of free parking.

The actual hike is pretty amazing too. It’s a hike in and back trail that’s about 6 miles round trip. The hike starts off with tons of oaks giving you plenty of shade, but don’t let that fool you, after about 15 minutes, there’s not much to cover you from the sun, so, either leave early to beat the heat or go when the weather is mild.

The first part of the hike is mostly uphill so you’ll really feel a good cardio workout and your legs will burn (it’s good for you). The views of the valley and the ocean will keep your mind off of your pain. There are areas that level off and allow you to catch your breath. I’ve done this trail a bunch of times and it’s never crowded, the people on the trail are really friendly. Most of the hike is on an old fire road so it’s wide enough that hikers and bikers can share the trail.

During the springtime the wildflowers are in bloom. When LA has some good rain, you’re guaranteed to see brilliant orange, yellow, purple, red and blue flowers. You’ll be treated with some wildlife as well. On one particular day I saw tons of birds (which included some jays, quail and a roadrunner (I think that’s what it was but I’m not an expert at identifying birds) butterflies, lizards scuttling around, bunny rabbits gnawing on some low brush and deer eating grass.

There are benches the Parker Mesa Overlook. So after making that uphill climb, you can have a seat and absorb the view. You will have views of most of LA. Parts of the city can be distinguished by the clumps of buildings from Santa Monica, Century City to downtown. You’ll also be able to follow the coast down Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, El Segundo/Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach to as far south as Palos Verdes.

You follow the same trail back to the car. I’ve found that many times I see things that I’ve completely missed walking to the overlook. So, keep an eye out, you may be surprised by what you see.

Remember to take plenty of water as there is no water on the trail. There are bathroom facilities close to the street parking at Trippett Ranch. You can also park at Trippett Ranch but you have to pay the day use fee which is about $8. This is also the last place with a bathroom so if you need to go, here is the place. The bathrooms are surprisingly clean and have soap and a sink to wash your hands. If you have a picnic at the overlook, you can through away your trash in the garbage cans provided, they even have recycle bins (I love how green Santa Monica is). Most importantly, enjoy the sites, keep the trails clean and respect the earth.
Trippet Ranch to trailheads
Trailhead with choices of hikes to…
TRE69 says:
this trail looks great too!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2010

Check Topanga Hotel Deals

Parker Mesa Overlook Map
1 review
2 reviews - $316
2 reviews - $290