Eagle Rock via Santa Ynez Canyon Trail – Santa Monica Mountains

Originally hiked:  6/2/2019

This past weekend I went on a solo hike in our backyard mountains to Eagle Rock.  Haven’t been hiking The last time I went hiking was Baden-Powell about a month ago which I haven’t written a blog yet, but I did put together a youtube vlog of the hike.  Check it out if you have a second.  There are several ways to visit Eagle Rock in the Santa Monica Mountains.  If you are looking to do a close by hike if you live in the area, this is a good training hike.  The easier route is actually from Trippet Ranch ($10 parking or park outside the park for a longer hike).

What’s in this Guide?

  1. Hike Stats – Mileage, elevation gain, map of hike, weather
  2. Directions – quick write-up on how to get to the trailhead
  3. What to Pack – some gear, map and food recommendations
  4. Blabbering – best part of the write up, my pictures and thoughts of the hike

1. Hike Stats

Location Mileage Elevation Gain Type
Santa Monica Mountains 7.24 mi 1556 feet Out-and-back
map of hike


Topanga – Weather Forecast

I ended up taking a rain jacket because the forecast stated that there was a chance of light rain.  I didn’t end up using it at all, but better to be safe then sorry.

2. Directions

To get to the trailhead –

From I-10 W, continue onto CA-1 N (Pacific Coast Highway), turn right onto Sunset Blvd. about 4.4 miles from I-10 W.  Drive 0.4 miles and turn left onto Palisades Dr.  Continue on Palisades Dr. for 2.5 miles until you hit Vereda De La Montura, turn left.  The trailhead is on the right, there is a sign that notates “Santa Ynez Canyon Trail”.  There is parking on the street, but not overnight – make sure you read the signs before you go.

3. What to Pack?

Since I did a day hike and it was very local, I packed minimally.  Here are some of the items that I took on this hike:


  • To-Go Wrap: Recipe
  • Mozarella cheese stick
  • Starkist Salmon Creations Lemon Pepper & Mayonnaise

Check out a little more gear I have currently on my What’s in My Backpack Page& some Backpacking Gear Ideas.

4. My Blabbering

Before I get into blabbering a little more about this hike, why don’t you take a look at the YouTube video I put together for this hike.

I had been sick all week and was itching to get outdoors and decided that it was going to be for a hike not too far away from home.  I’ve done part of this trail before and thought it would be cool if there would be water in the creek and wanted to check it out.

The start of a local hike

I was the second car parked for the trailhead, which is awesome and that’s why I got there just after 6:30am.  As I finished off my coffee from Starbucks, I turned on the Garmin inReach because there was no service in the area.  Once I got it working, I sent a message to a couple people that I was beginning my hike.  When I send the message it sends the location I sent it from as well; one of the reasons having a satellite communicator is something I recommend anyone who goes outdoors and is out of cell phone range.

When you begin the trail there is a little pavement that later disappears into a single track dirt trail.  The first portion of the trail is all flat and goes alongside the creek.  I had to cross the creek several times, but to my knowledge there hasn’t been so much water that you would get wet.

I passed a sign that says “Waterfall” about 0.6 miles.  The trail eventually ascends up the side of the canyon and out into the open around 1.5 miles.

For the first 2.8 miles of the hike I did not see one soul.  And the thing about being the first person on the trail especially at this time of year is that you will hit a ton of spider webs.  For this reason, my hiking poles became my best friend on this hike.

At about 2 miles you will hit the Eagle Rock Canyon Fire Rd.  Not quite a trail, but still a great place to get a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.  This portion of the trail seems to be flat at first, but to reach Eagle Rock there is still about 700 feet elevation gain, however it’s very gradual.  At this point, I saw way too many people for my liking on a hike, but what can I expect when I’m in Los Angeles area.

I stood on Eagle Rock at a good time because I was the only one who ended up going to it.  There were several other people around with just different destinations.  The rock itself is made of sandstone, if you climb onto it, you can get quite a view of the area.

A little background

The original name of Eagle Rock was “Elephant Rock”, mainly because the way it looks to the human eye is like an elephant head when standing on the north side.

I bet if it was a clearer day I would have had some ocean views.  I quickly ate a little of my To-Go Wrap before I headed back down before even more crowds would show up.

On my way down

On my way out once I got back onto Santa Ynez Canyon Trail, I had a good mile or so that I didn’t see anyone on the trail.  I hadn’t hiked this long in a while, so my legs were definitely getting tired once I hit the 6 mile mark.  I finally ran into a couple families along the way just near the trailhead.  There was a group of teenagers who were hiking in and the last of them had a stick he was holding and asked me if I wanted to switch.  At first I didn’t get it, but it was a joke to switch my poles with his stick.  I said “good one”.  Thought it was a funny little story to share with you all.

All in all great hike to go on if you’re just trying to get a quick morning hike or afternoon hike in.

Happy Adventures,

Annette, Adventurer Beyond Limits on Foot

Related links

Before I go on a hike I always check some other peoples write-ups.  Here are some others you may want to check out to read further:

Well I hope you loved reading along.  If you want to check out more on the hike, don’t forget to check my YouTube channel here: Beyond Limits on Foot YouTube Channel.

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2 thoughts on “Eagle Rock via Santa Ynez Canyon Trail – Santa Monica Mountains

  1. I think they should have left it called ‘Elephant Rock’ personally.

    I never mind seeing others on the hill – so long as their outdoor folks, I’m happy meeting them. I nearly always walk alone so it’s nice to bump into people sometimes. I never set off before around 0900 though! I suppose that’s the benefit of living in a cold country – we don’t have to worry about too much heat build-up for the ascent. We never have to worry about dry rivers/streams either!

    1. I agree about seeing others completely, but when they’re are just too many it’s not as pleasant is all 🙂

      Yea, I was actually glad I went out that early because it was getting hotter. I wish our local mountains and rivers/streams. This past weekend we went up to the Eastern Sierras and there was so much water everywhere and still so much snow. So awesome!

      I also think they should have left it called “Elephant Rock” as well!!

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