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The Best 3 Hiking Spots on the West Side

The Best 3 Hiking Spots on the West Side

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2017 by Nikki Dussault.

Now the sun’s really here, there’s nothing like soaking in the heat during a great hike. There’s lots of hiking spot on the West Side – but which ones are the best ones? The ones that give the best views and the best workouts? We grabbed a water bottle and went out to find them.

First up is Will Rogers State Park. It’s a rustic canyon loop and about six miles all round – and yes, once upon a time it was the private ranch of Mr. Will Rogers himself.  The hike begins just behind the main ranch house, by the sign for the Inspiration Point Trail – which we also recommend. It’s a quick detour and worth the effort to head up this side route for some spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the L.A. Basin, and the Santa Monica Mountains. Follow Backbone Trail to the junction with Rustic Canyon. Follow that trail back to Will Rogers Park. After the hike, feel free to stroll around the park and enjoy a picnic on the massive lawn in front of the house.

Have you tried Malibu Creek State Park? It’s almost 5 miles around spans 7,000 acres of beautiful scenery and features 15 miles of streamside trails through oak and sycamore woodlands, as well as chaparral-covered slopes. Creek State Park is also home to the outdoor set of the famous TV program M*A*S*H because it was once the location ranch of 20th Century Fox studios, which owned the land from 1946 to 1974. Many films and TV programs were shot here alongside M*A*S*H including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Planet of the Apes.

Solstice Canyon is a smaller affair, being only about 3 miles around but it comes with a Tropical Terrace and jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s an easy hike along a shaded trail that is partially paved before giving way to a fire road. A brook leads you to Tropical Terrace. For space and science geeks, Solstice Canyon is a must-see; it was one of only three sites in the world where TRW tested satellite equipment for space missions. Solstice Canyon features several options for easy, moderate, or strenuous hikes through coastal sage scrub and riparian plant communities. Visitors can enjoy a picnic, a shady stroll along the Solstice Canyon Trail, or a more challenging climb up the Rising Sun Trail. Their perennial waterfall is a popular hiking destination, and along the way you might encounter acorn woodpeckers, alligator lizards, fence lizards, or a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead.

Try any of the above hiking spots and you’re pretty much guaranteed amazing views and great times!