Topanga Canyon State Park

 Spending a day in the Santa Monica Mountains gives you a lot of hiking options. I really wanted to explore what my friends say is the best hike, Sandstone Peak, but decided to go with Topanga Canyon's Los Leones trail up to the Parker Mesa Overlook followed by lunch at Malibu Farms on the Malibu Pier.  - The Confused Millennial

Per usual during my travels this past year, I’ve been horrible at planning ahead. When we got to California, everything was really last minute. I knew I wanted to spend a day in the Santa Monica Mountains, particularly exploring what my friends say is the best hike, Sandstone Peak, but after two 8 mile hikes over the 3 previous days, my fiance and I were getting a little tired and sore. I remembered seeing this post from The Balanced Blonde on the Los Leones trail:

 

 

 

I knew I wanted to get that ocean view, plus the Los Leones trail is barely 3 miles! Perfect!

 

rachel ritlop

 

…. Only if you guys know my fiance and I by now, you know we always got lost… and did over 7 miles up to the Parker Mesa Outlook…. #SMH

The day we went there was a fire in the mountains so it was both foggy and smokey, so when we got to the top of the Los Leones trail, I didn’t see any ocean and thought we were in the wrong place.

I kept seeing people go up higher, so I figured we just needed to go higher (yes, as I type that I hear out dumb it sounds, but I am from flat Florida, and don’t get how mountains work still). We kept climbing higher… and higher… and higher…

Until we were at the Parker Mesa overlook. While we definitely felt like we were dying on the way up (we only brought 1 water bottle and no snacks since we thought it was only three miles!), it was definitely worth it.

Plus down was a lot easier, since we actually knew where we were going that time.

After the hike we were starving. So we headed over to Malibu Farms for lunch. I had the most delicious rose lemonade on the pier.

It was actually freezing on the pier so I grabbed whatever sweater I could find in the car and roughed the whipping winds outside because the views were just so beautiful!

Next time I am definitely excited to tackle Sandstone Peak! But The Parker Mesa Overlook is well worth the hike!

 

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