Hike to Eagle Rock in Topanga State Park

Trippet Ranch, Topanga, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1000 Feet

Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

This hike offers great panoramic views of Santa Monica Mountains from Eagle Rock. The trail is well-maintained and perfect for group hikes.

Eagle Rock is located in Topanga State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains, and it is a unique formation that provides an amazing panoramic view of Santa Monica. On a clear day, the Catalina Islands and Palos Verdes Peninsula are visible. You can park on along the street of Entrada Rd. or pay $10 to pay for parking inside Trippet Ranch (worth it in my opinion to support the park and the amenities it provides).

The hike itself is approximately 6 miles and can be extended if desired. The trail I would suggest starts at Trippet Ranch and begins on

  • 1) Trippet Ln. towards East Topanga Fire Rd
  • 2) Turn left on East Topanga Fire Rd. and head northeast towards Eagle Rock
  • 3) Keep left to stay on East Topanga Fire Rd. at the Santa Ynez Canyon Trail junction
  • 4) At the next major junction, take a right onto Eagle Springs Fire Road to begin the loop towards Hub Junction.

(I would recommend a slight detour (0.3 miles) at Hub Junction to climb up Cathedral Rocks for another panoramic view.)

  • 5) Return back to Hub Junction and take Backbone Trail all the way to Eagle Rock.
  • 6) After you're done exploring Eagle Rock, continue on Backbone Trail back to East Topanga Fire Rd.

I've been here twice and both times have had the pleasure of running into some widelife as seen in the photos. It's definitely one my favorite hikes in Southern California on a cloudy or comfortable day. I would not recommend it on a hot day because there is very little coverage from the heat. My last trip here I also tried geocaching to find some hidden "treasures" along the trail with my dad, which made the hike even more enjoyable. I'd recommend giving that a try as well if you haven't already!

Pack List

  • $10 if you wish to park at Trippet Ranch
  • Trail running/Hiking shoes
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Camera
  • Water
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

I agree with what others said. Take the Mulsch trail up to the rock and the fire road back down. Full sun for most of the final mile up to the rock. Full sun on the fire road back. Pay for parking (support the park!) or park for free on the side road. Stop at the weird costume/vintage store in Topanga canyon afterward.

4 months ago
4 months ago

I love this trail so much! The views from Eagle Rock (and the entire trail, to be honest) are incredible. I've done trail twice and both times saw lots of wildlife (deer, coyotes, rattle snakes, hawks and bunnies). I recommend doing the Musch loop as well- if you start out on the Musch trail you go through a lovely meadow (deer country!) and then work your way down to a creekbed and then back up to Eagle Rock. After you enjoy the mind blowing views from Eagle Rock you can cruise back to the parking lot along the fire road (easy-peasy). Or you can keep exploring more trails!

12 months ago
12 months ago

I love this hike so much. Trails are well maintained and the views on Eagle Rock are unbeatable. As with most things in LA, parking can be a bit expensive though

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

I took the fire road up and Musch trail down. I wish I took Musch trail up and down. So much more scenery. Just follow the paved bike path type road from the Parking lot to Musch campground sign. Also, at the forks... stay right! On way down. Stay left!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

I didn't know this hike existed until reading Ben's write-up (thanks!), but it was fun way to spend a Sunday morning. I'd actually recommend making this hike into a loop by either starting or finishing with Musch Trail. You'll be able to see more diverse scenery, get away from the mountain bikers and it only tacks on an extra 0.5 miles.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Ben Lertsakdadet Explorer

Currently a graduate student at University of California, Irvine, who enjoys exploring and photographing the great outdoors in my spare time.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

8 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves