Temescal Ridge – Garapito Canyon – Eagle Springs Loop

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This is a big one. Our hike begins 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.

After tourist stops at Cathedral Rock and Temescal Peak we’ll swing by The Hub and arrive at our first destination: Eagle Springs. Not many people visit the spring and the trail is sure to be overgrown. After passing the remains of a wooden water tank we’ll arrive at a creek and the spring, surrounded by oak trees — and maybe some poison oak. Eagle Springs is the source for Santa Ynez Creek & Falls

On the way to Garapito Canyon we’ll stop at Eagle Rock, 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 our snack break we’ll 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. 

The climb out of Garapito Canyon will bring us back to Temescal Ridge as we complete the loop and head back to the cars whence we came.

Hike is about 13 miles with 2,400′ total ascent. As you may have noted there are a few stops on this hike (not necessarily snacking stops). I’ll try to break them up and we may not do them in the order given in hike description. These stops are:

Cathedral Rock
Temescal Peak
The Hub
Eagle Springs
Eagle Rock

Directions

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 up to the public trailhead parking on the left. There are restrooms at the trailhead

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