Nature’s Bounty ~ In Los Angeles, CA

The well worn trail is indicative of activities past; an artistic imprint of horses hooves, sneaker soles, and bike tire tracks. Orange, dusty, and dry, yet tufts of green have sprouted in between the cracks of its facade. Though the ground appears to be sapped of moisture, the undulating mountains around us are blanketed in thick shrubbery and grasses; yellow and purple wildflowers, like swooshes of watercolour, are painted along their sides, and plush meadows cover their valleys.

IMAG0359-1There’s a chill in the air – the sun is intermittent as it shies behind threatening dark clouds, which needn’t look so imposing for they never do precipitate more than a drop or two. A scare tactic, perhaps?

Except for the chirp of crickets and bird song, I can only hear the sound of the wind in my ears. Even my husband, who is walking alongside, is quiet. I recall a quote by Wilfred Thesiger, travel writer, from an article I’d recently read, “It was very still, with the silence with which we have driven from our world.” I am sure his description of the Middle Eastern desert was wildly different to what I am experiencing, but at this moment in time, I feel the sentiment.

IMAG0362-1We are deep in the Santa Monica Mountains, about a 15 minute car drive from the Pacific, but 1000’s feet higher – the horizontal line where the unending ocean meets the infinitive sky is out of sight. Hiking along a trail that will eventually round out at the 8 mile mark, we are reliant upon a path that doesn’t hint as to what is along the way – a fog topped mountain vista is instantly replaced at its turn with a scene that wows with the sheer size of an eroded and well sculpted rock formation, a product of volcanic and earth buckling activity.


Eagle Rock

Mountains, hiking, and stillness – atypical word associations with “Los Angeles”. Yet they are so deserving and true.

IMAG0356-1Travel Tips

Where: Topanga State Park. Parking is $10; a map is $2. Street parking is available; the map is a necessary guide.

What: They are plenty of trails to choose from – walk anywhere from 2 miles along the Santa Ynez trail – there’s a waterfall at it’s end, or 10 miles to Will Rogers State Historic Park (both routes are quoted one-way). We walked to Temescal Peak (2,126 ft) via Eagle Rock (1,957 ft) which was an 8 mile loop.

Note: all photos were taken with a Smartphone. Next time, the DSLR will take the trip too.


Eagle Rock from a distance


26 thoughts on “Nature’s Bounty ~ In Los Angeles, CA

    • Ah, nothing beats an ocean view Cornelia. This was one of the first hikes that really felt “still” for me. Not seeing the movement of the water does affect the sense quite a lot. Thank you!

    • I was caught up in a lyrical mood Adrian. It was bizarre but I was inspired. It must have been the stillness and calm – refreshed the mind! I will take the camera next time – might be a harder climb though! Thanks!

  1. Hi Marina, looks like a great hike, enjoyed the photos; when traveling through the southwest i very much enjoyed Topanga canyonand its amazing houses and green valley! Still dreaming (and looking) of having a house there 😉
    Thanks for sharing, hope all is well!
    Greetings, Ron.

  2. Marina, the tones in these images are so beautiful. Full of spring. It is very brown here for now.
    I’m impressed with your phone images, even looking at them large they have good detail.

  3. Absolutely amazing, I am not a hiker, but for these views I would become one! So refreshing and picturesque! I can’t wait for the warmer temperatures here so Charlie and I can do more cycling and see new places, even if it’s very local 🙂

    • I think that’s half the reason why I love to hike, K – for the views! It’s also a great way to see more of LA and the state. I bet you’re looking forward to the warmer weather – I’ve already gotten a tan from the outdoors! Thank you!

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