Archives For Trail

Take A Hike Day

November 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

There is no better time to celebrate the brisk beauty that is late autumn than on Take a Hike Day. On November 17th, as the last of the deep red and orange leaves finally relinquish their grasp on their branches and fall crunchily to the forest floor, it’s time to take a hike and take advantage of all Mother Nature has to offer. Not only is hiking a great way to discover local scenery, there are also many health benefits – both physical and psychological – linked to hiking.


Depending on the difficulty of the hiking trail you choose to take, and the weight of your backpack, an hour of hiking can easily burn 500 calories. The usually grassy terrain of hiking trails is known to be easier on joints than the hard concrete of an indoor track, reducing your risk of a stress injury while exercising.

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Griffith Park

Hiking has been linked to decreasing the symptoms of depression. Removing yourself from the pressures of a busy life and the constant distractions produced by technology will allow you to reconnect with yourself, resulting in increased moods and a sense of well-being.

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Santa Monica Mountains

Whether you choose to spend your time in self-reflection, or take the family out for an adventure in the forest, don’t forget to take a hike on this November 17th and enjoy the great outdoors! Stay safe out there!

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Runyon Canyon

Hiking suggestions:

WHAT: Take A Hike Day
WHEN: November 17, 2014 
WHERE: You choose!

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Located near Benedict Canyon at the geographical center of Los Angeles, the Franklin Canyon Park and Lake span 605 acres and feature over five miles of hiking trails. The park’s history dates to 1914, when water tycoon William Mulholland built the Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir. In the 1930s, the family of oil baron Edward Doheny used the canyon as a summer retreat.


Within the park boundaries are chaparral, grasslands and oak woodlands, a three-acre lake, an ADA-accessible duck pond, and expansive picnic grounds. The lake and pond serve as permanent and seasonal homes for birds in the Pacific flyway.


The park offers an easy stroll around the reservoir with plentiful views of birds and wildlife, as well as access to other, more difficult trails which offer views from West Los Angeles to the Pacific.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

If you are looking for a nice loop hike in the Santa Monica Mountains above Beverly Hills, give Hastain Trail a try. The trail can actually be used for two loops, one easy 1.8-mile loop with 350 feet of elevation gain and one moderate 2.2-mile option with 550 feet of elevation gain. Each trek is a satisfying way to explore the park.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

Both loops begin the same way, heading up Hastain Trail from Lake Drive within the park. There is an information panel at the trailhead with a rough map of the Hastain Trail. The wide dirt trail climbs up the east side of Franklin Canyon. At 0.4 miles, you will pass a single track shooting up the ridge to the left. This is the steepest section of the tougher upper loop (and you could easily walk right past it). The steep single track has slippery footing, so you may want to hike up this way instead of down. To hike down the steep single track, or to hike the easier lower loop, continue up Hastain Trail, which makes its way southeast around a crease in the wall of the canyon.


At 0.7 miles from the start, you will pass through a gate in a chain-link fence and turn into a draw in the ridge that turns the trail south toward a landing that looks out over Lower Franklin Reservoir.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

This great viewpoint, 0.95 miles from the start, is also the point where the two loops split. To the right, a single track descends into Franklin Canyon for the easier 1.8-mile loop. To the left, alongside an outcropping of rocks, Hastain Trail continues up the ridge for the tougher 2.2-mile loop. Take in the view and proceed in either direction.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

The easier loop: If you are ready to descend, turn right onto the single track (no bikes) and take a string of switchbacks down the spine of a ridge into Franklin Canyon.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

After 0.4 miles, you will reach the canyon bottom where there is a large grass lawn lined by sycamore and jacaranda trees. Begin hiking up the canyon and take one of several routes back to the trailhead.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

Walk across the lawn to a driveway heading up to a staff residence. To the right, next to a trail kiosk, there is one path heading up the canyon. Straight ahead there are bathrooms and a parking area along Lake Drive, which you can follow back to the trailhead. To the left, across the road is a branch of the Discovery Trail, which also leads back to the trailhead. There are picnic tables beneath the live oaks along Discovery Trail where you can take a snack break. All routes up the canyon are about 0.3 miles long and make gradual finishes for the easy loop.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

The tougher loop: From the viewpoint at the junction 0.95 miles from the trailhead, turn left, following a bend in Hastain Trail that leads higher up the ridge east of Franklin Canyon. You will pass through two more open fences over the next third of a mile as you progress northeast up the ridge. Just beyond the fences, step out to a landing on the right for a view east and south over Coldwater Canyon and Beverly Hills.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

Continue up the trail until you come to a junction with a single track breaking off to the left. This is the high point of the loop, 1.35 miles from the start. Turn left and begin down the steep ridge trail, leaving the fire road, which continues up the ridge toward houses.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

Heading west down the single track on the ridge, you will pass one more section of fence, the fourth of the loop. There are loose stones on top of firm ground, so be attentive on the slippery descent. Enjoy nice views down the ridge and south across Hastain Trail toward Beverly Hills. After descending 425 feet in 0.45 on the ridge track, you will meet back up with Hastain Trail. Turn right and hike 0.4 miles down to the bottom of the trail, completing the 2.2-mile loop.

Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park

To get to the trailhead: Take Santa Monica Boulevard to Beverly Hills and turn north on Beverly Drive. Go 1.3 miles and turn left to continue up Beverly Drive. After another 0.3 miles, make a second left (at a split with Coldwater Canyon Drive) to proceed up Beverly Drive. Go 0.9 miles and turn right up Franklin Canyon Drive. Go 1.1 miles up the ridge, entering Franklin Canyon Park. Turn right down Lake Drive and go 1/3 of a mile to the start of Hastain Trail (on the left) where roadside parking is available.

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Pop culture fans will likely recognize Franklin Canyon Park, which is frequently used as a TV and film location, including the famous hitchhiking scene from It Happened One Night with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.


The 3-acre Franklin Lake was the “fishing hole” in the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. Watch a video of the Andy Griffith Show.


Universal Studios shot their horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon here. The park was also the background for the cover photo of Simon & Garfunkel’s album Sounds of Silence.


Huell Howser visited this park and made a video, watch it here.

Franklin Canyon Park preserves 605 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains including a former ranch acquired by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1981. Dogs are allowed on leashes in Franklin Canyon Park. Bikes are allowed on the wide section of Hastain Trail but not on the single tracks down into Franklin Canyon. No fee or permit is required to hike Hastain Trail in Franklin Canyon Park, so get out and enjoy!


WHAT: Franklin Canyon Park And Lake 
Sun up to sun down
2600 Franklin Canyon Drive | Beverly Hills, CA 90210

CONTACT INFO: (310) 858-7272


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Culver City Park is home to a new open ropes course, run by Fulcrum Adventures. The “Culver City team building high ropes challenge course” features eight elevated events, including a fifty-foot climbing wall, a beam walk, a power pole, and a trapeze jump. Looks scary but very fun!

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The team building high ropes challenge course features elevated events that thrill and give participants and organizations the opportunity to rise to their full potential. The course begins with a large, fifty-foot leadership climbing wall capable of simultaneously supporting two individuals while they scale their way to a panoramic view of the city. Other elements include high team building wire walks, a partnership balancing beam, a leadership leap of faith, and the giant swing.



In addition to high ropes challenges, the Culver City location also offers spacious picnic and activity grounds for meals, games, and team building activities. Their staff utilizes this beautiful environment to develop a memorable, exciting, and enriching program for clients.

Nestled among trees, the ropes course challenge offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding coastal cities. It is conveniently located near the 405 and 10 freeways.



Across from the Boneyard (dog park) in the Culver City Park, is a long ramp that zigzags up a cliff. This is the Interpretive Nature Trail, a 20 minute trail designed for wheelchair accessibility, the visually impaired, and the casual trailblazer.



WHAT: Culver City Park Ropes And Nature Trail
WHEN: Contact Fulcrum Adventures
Culver City Park | 9700 Jefferson Blvd. | Culver City, CA 90232

CONTACT INFO: (310) 452-7992

SOCIAL MEDIA: FacebookYelp

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The Will Rogers State Historic Park was the private ranch of the world-famous movie star and American Cowboy, Will Rogers. In the early 1930s, Rogers was the most popular and highest paid actor in Hollywood. From his start in vaudeville theater with a trick roping act, he rose to world-wide fame as a columnist, philosopher, and radio personality. During the 1920s, he bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch. Eventually, Rogers owned 186 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in what is now known as Pacific Palisades.

House exterior

The ranch became the place where Will Rogers could relax with his family and friends, pursuing his favorite pastimes of riding and roping. At his untimely death in a plane crash in 1935, Will Rogers’ ranch consisted of a 31-room ranch house, a stable, corrals, riding ring, roping arena, polo field, golf course, and hiking trails. When his widow, Betty, died in 1944, the ranch became a state park.


Ranch House Tours

Park staff offer tours of the Ranch House and grounds. However, you and your family can enjoy many features of the Park on your own. Download the Self-Guided Ranch Tour Card. Tours run Thursdays and Fridays, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, on the top of the hour. No tours Monday through Wednesday. School group tours and special group tours run Thursday and Fridays at 10:00 am.


Equestrian Activities

The Will Rogers Polo Club plays polo every weekend from April to October. Riding Lessons are available on Monday through Saturday; see their Horseback Riding Lessons Information Page. Equestrians are welcome to bring their horses to the park for day-use to enjoy the riding and roping arena, Sarah’s Point, and the trail to Inspiration Point.


Horseback Riding

Will Rogers Trail Rides provide guided trail rides on safe, reliable horses on the beautiful trails of Will Rogers State Historic Park. You will experience the park in the way Will Rogers used to love to experience it, on horseback. Their wranglers are experienced and safety oriented, so you can relax and enjoy the trails of one of the most beloved parks in Los Angeles. Will Rogers guided trail rides are available every day except Mondays. Tuesday through Fridays you can book a private guided ride by calling (310) 662-3707 or go online for more information.


Hiking Trails

Hikers can enjoy a moderate 3-mile loop to Inspiration Point. Adventurous hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can tackle the Backbone Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains, which can take you all the way to Point Mugu.


Activities at the Park

The Park is undergoing a major historic renovation project that will restore the landscape to its appearance during Will Rogers’ time. In the past two years, the Department has restored the ranch house and completed significant portions of the landscape restoration program. Over the next several years, the Department will be restoring the historic structures and relocating the maintenance facilities away from the historic zone. Details of the restoration program may be found in the Historic Landscape Management Plan.


Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is open to the public after a major renovation and has new exhibits. The Gift Store in the Visitor Center contains Will Rogers books, Will Rogers DVD’s, and Will Rogers radio broadcasts. It also carries polo mallets and polo balls and a fine line of Indian Jewelry. Gift Store Hours are Thursday – Sunday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm.


WHAT: Will Rogers State Historic Park
Open daily, including holidays | 8:00 am – Sunset
1501 Will Rogers Park Road | Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


  • Parking $12.00, Seniors parking $11.00

CONTACT INFO: (310) 454-8212

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook | Twitter | Yelp

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