Our hike to the highest point in Topanga State Park -- Temescal Peak -- begins up a short concrete road built into a steep slope composed of drainage ditches and retainer walls. Soon we will be on the grass and sagebrush-covered Temescal Ridge. The ridge enables sweeping views of Santa Monica Bay, the sprawling civilization of Los Angeles and the loftier San Gabriel Mountains.
Less than a mile up the ridge, we'll cross the radio-towered summit of Green Peak at 1,966 feet. We will continue to follow the windy trail to Cathedral Rock, an interesting sandstone outcropping that's fun to explore. I little beyond Cathedral Rock sits Temescal Peak, rising over a wide region of the Santa Mountains triangulated between the Pacific Palisades, Topanga, and Calabasas. The peak is one of the highest in the Santa Monica Mountains at 2,126 feet, but its is only 70' above the trail making it very easy to climb the single track to the top.
Like many of the service road type ridge trails in the area there are parallel single track trails that can be used to add variety to the hike for those keen to stray from the service road and explore more of the contours and undulations of Temescal Ridge
Hike is moderate-to-strenuous at about 6 miles with 1000 feet total elevation gain. Depending on weather and how we are feeling we can extend hike and take in the Eagle Rock and Eagle Springs Loop
From Sunset Boulevard, half a mile east of PCH, head north on Palisades Drive. After 3.3 miles, continue straight on Chastain Parkway for another half a mile. Turn right on Via Las Palmas, and drive two short blocks past Via La Costa (onto service road) up to the public trailhead parking on the left. There are restrooms at the trailhead
Post-hike lunch will be at Chez-Mimi (formerly Mogans Cafe) on Palisades Dr
The Organizers and members of Hiking With Dean 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 our ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER and Section 6.2 of the Meetup.com Terms of Service.