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Santa Ynez Canyon

If you're looking for an easy hike in the shade around the Pacific Palisades, this is your hike.

This is a 1.5 mile out-and-back hike, 3 miles roundtrip. It takes about 1-1.5 hours.

When there's water in the creek there are plenty of creek crossings to make this far more interesting than just strolling through a park. There's about 350 ft of elevation gain, so it's not completely flat.

The Hike:

This is a very simple hike. You just follow the trail from the trailhead. The trail crosses over the creek several times making for some fun and variation.

There's one trail decision point. After about one mile you will see a trail marker, waterfall to right, and another trail to the left. Go to the right, and follow this trail until you get to about 1.5 miles into the hike where the trail will basically either dead end or get up to the falls, depending on whether or not the rangers are grooming the trails.

The usual destination of this hike is Santa Ynez Falls, which is an interesting set of falls and very unusual narrow boulder canyon, however, the falls were not currently easily accessible to most hikers, so we're not describing that part of the hike here. That's for another time.

You can take the trail to the left at the fork mentioned above and go on longer hikes.  2.2 miles to Trippet Ranch, and/or 3.4 miles to Eagle Rock. However, these hikes are largely very exposed to the sun. If you want to stay in the shade, we recommend turning around here at the dead end, or the falls, and then return to the trailhead.
Please run the slideshow below to see the hike taken in the month of March.

PicasaWeb Slideshow

The trail to the falls, which is not far beyond where the above hike ends, is not well maintained at this time and in fact at the time of our last hike here you can't even see a trail. You have to do some bushwhacking, belly crawling or boulder climbing to get up there, and there's tons of poison oak in this area. We don't recommend trying to get up there unless you're going with someone who really knows the way and how to do it. Also, if no water is flowing in the creek, you probably won't find the destination worth the effort.

Go out to Pacific Palisades and get onto Sunset Blvd. The turnoff onto Palisades Dr. (see map below) is not far from PCH, and west of the town center in Pacific Palisades. The trailhead is actually right in a residential community known as Palisades Highlands. Go up north on Palisades Dr. and after a few miles take a left onto Vereda De La Montura and take the street to where it ends near a gated community. You will see an open part of the fence to the right at the bottom of the road. That's where the trailhead is, see slideshow. Park anywhere you can on this street near the trailhead. FYI there are no restrooms near the trailhead.

Google Map

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