Hike to Eagle Rock in Topanga State Park

Trippet Ranch

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
Show More
RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Gorgeous SoCal hike

I came here as a tourist and was captivated by the views and the stark beauty of the trail. It seems massive, so map out your course before you take off, and make sure to bring adequate water and sunscreen. The sun can feel relentless even when the clouds are out - there’s no coverage for you on this fun SoCal hike.

Totally Do It!

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.

One of my faves

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!


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