Temescal Canyon, Santa Monica

Waterfalls
Temescal Canyon, Santa Monica
My girlfriend and I hiked Temescal Canyon State Park in Santa Monica today for the first time. We had a bit of rain this week, so I decided to drive out and see it in prime form. The park is really easy to find. From route 10, you head North on Pacific Coast Highway for about 2 miles and turn right onto Temescal Canyon Road and follow it another 2 miles to the end. There was a pay parking lot for 7$, but we found plenty of free street parking less than 500 feet from the pay lot.

To get to the trailhead, you follow the paved road for about a half mile until it ends at a group of cabins. We found a kiosk on the way with free maps. The hike to the falls is only a mile from the trailhead, but we turned it into a 5 mile loop. We started on the trailhead marked “waterfall”. The trail is wide and well-traveled, if not a bit rocky. There were a ton of signs forbidding dogs on the trail. Its an uphill climb all the way to the falls. We saw quite a few out of shape hikers huffing and puffing. I was a little disappointed in the falls. They were fed by a very small creek. There was a large family with a ton of kids having a picnic at the base of the falls. One woman was screaming at her kids at the top of her lungs while they played. I suddenly remembered why I never hike on Sundays.

From the falls, we crossed a metal bridge and began the Temescal Ridge trail. It continues steadily upward, winding along a path carved into the mountain. By this point, I was breathing a little harder myself. A ton of people were passing us on the way down. I saw more beautiful girls on this trail than I’ve seen in my past twenty hikes combined. The eye candy is always motivation to continue. My girlfriend was not amused by the perfectly bronzed brunette who was hiking in a Brazilian cut bikini. It was the highlight of my trip.

2 miles from the waterfall and we reached the summit. We had a view unmatched anywhere in Los Angeles. We could see from LA all the way to the beaches and everything in between. It really makes you appreciate how populated LA really is when you see the endless expanse of buildings in the valley below you.

From the summit, we continued on the Temescal ridge trail which descended back to the main part of the park, completing the loop. It was only a 5 mile hike, but it was a hard 5 miles because of the elevation gain. I can really feel the burning in my calves. A recent peer-reviewed study found that beer was a great way to loosen stiff muscles after a hike. I have no argument with that.
Temescal Canyon Trail

Temescal Canyon Trail

Temescal Canyon Falls

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