Our hike begins in the northwestern corner of Topanga State Park on the Viewridge Trail in Santa Maria Canyon. Highlights during this stroll through a wooded canyon include ocean views. From here we'll hook up with dirt Mulholland and head east to Garapito Canyon
We'll then descend the narrow Garapito Trail cutting a sinuous course through mature chaparral -- mostly mountain mahogany and ceanothus up to 20 feet tall. The blossoms of the ceanothus exude an attractive wild honey scent in spring. Tunneling through the tall brush, the trail eventually switchbacks down to the sycamore-shaded canyon bottom, crossing two forks of Garapito Creek and then contours a short distance over to an east fork.
After rising out of Garapito Canyon Eagle Rock will come into view. The most impressive landmark in all of Topanga State Park, it will afford us an airy perch overlooking the upper watershed of Santa Ynez Canyon and the ocean beyond. We will snack and explore on this impressive sandstone rock covered with crevices and caves.
After that we'll take the Cheney Ridge back to Santa Maria Canyon to complete the loop.
Some of this hike, at the beginning and end, is along paved and dirt country roads, and provides a nice little walking tour of the Topanga neighborhood. There will also be a short walk on Topanga Canyon.
I have not done this particular combination of trails before (and as far as I know no other group has) but hike will be about 12 miles with about 3,000 ft total ascent. The beginning and the end of the hike will be semi-exploratory
[Update: I've done some exploring of the area and decided to do the hike in reverse as described above. Thus we will arrive at Eagle Rock near start of hike. We'll take a short break at Eagle Rock -- shorter than usual -- and a couple other short breaks at strategic stops along the way to allow hikers to catch up and keep group together. There are lots of forks and turns.The neighborhoods we'll be winding through are very interesting]
Optional Post Hike Lunch is at Pat's Topanga Grill - ok to bring wine/beer, no corkage fee. They will even supply the glasses! (Plan B: Pat's closes at 3pm. If we get back too late we can go to Rocco's Pizza in Topanga or Reel Inn on PCH)
From Highway 101: drive south on Topanga Canyon Blvd for 3.7 miles. Turn left on Viewridge and drive 0.5 miles to the end of the road.
From Pacific Coast Highway: head north on Topanga Canyon Blvd. for 9 miles and turn right on Viewridge.
Park by end of street. There is plenty of parking
The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER.