As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog journey I plan to take a lot of hikes this year. This is not unlike the past years except that my friends and I are known to do one of two hikes: Temescal Canyon or Los Liones. Both wonderful hikes, ones we know are challenging yet beautiful but we are feeling its time to explore. It's good to have standbys but this year we want to branch out and try some new trails.
So last Saturday I planned a girls hike. Hiking is the perfect group activity for women because we get to work on our fitness and talk non-stop for hours. Amy suggested a new hike called Eagle Rock at Topanga State Park.
Eagle Rock Trail it situated off the Pacific Coast Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains, north of LA close to Malibu. Unlike our usual hikes this trail is set back in the mountains miles away from the ocean. So we drove through Topanga Canyon quite a while before entering the state park.
There Sarah, Amy and I met up with Elissa and Katie who drove down from Oxnard to join us. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky and around 80 degrees. Between the rain earlier in the week and the Santa Ana winds it was clear as far as the eye could see.
The trail path was wide, smooth and had a slight incline, perfect for a beginner hiker or a trail runner. It boasts views of many parts of greater LA including Calabasses, Palos Verdes and the Santa Monica Mountains.
The main destination of this hike is Eagle Rock a very large sandstone formation that sticks out from the side of a mountain. It reminded me of a few hikes in the Appalachian Mountains where you reach a high point covered with stone with incredible overlooks of the valleys below.
About halfway up to the formation I was super surprised to run into one of my longtime college friends Dustin and my LA friend Jeremiah. They were also hiking with a group of people on this January day. This was such a thrill because randomly running into people in LA that you know does not happen very often. But when you do, it is comforting because it makes this city seem a bit smaller. So that was a really neat surprise.
After stopping to chat with them for a few minutes we made our way to Eagle Rock. Once there we climbed the formation and quickly realized we were very high up and needed to be careful. It was also very windy. We took in the views, snapped a few photos and quickly made our way off the sandstone back to the trail. We then walked about a mile past the formation to see the profile of the large rock and to take in some more views. We were incredibly lucky because the sky was so clear that we recognized not only Catalina Island (22 miles off the coast of Southern California) but Mt. Baldy a snow capped mountain that sits behind Rancho Cucamonga about 60 miles east of where we were hiking. It was absolutely breathtaking.
After a few more photo ops our now bonded girls group made our way back down the trail very satisfied with Amy's hiking choice and commented frequently on how perfect the day was. Saturday was one of those days where you feel like the luckiest person in the world to live in this part of the country. I mean, how many other places in the US can you hike in 80 degree weather in the middle of January? Not many. Not many at all.
Eagle Rock Hike was approximately 5 miles long and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I hold one star only because on a hazy day when the views are not clear the immediate views are not as impressive as the distant views. But Saturday I would have not changed a single thing: awesome women, incredible views and perfect weather made for an amazing day.