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Santa Monica mountains national recreation area

Take the Scenic Route

Compliment your beachside yoga classes with a workout and stunning vistas from the Santa Monica Mountains. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area covers an area of more than 154,000 acres and is the largest urban national park in the world. With more than thirty trails in varying levels of difficulty, the park plays host to hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and campers, and draws visitors with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, historic ranches and more. One of our favorite hikes begins at Los Liones Trail in Topanga State Park, located just ten minutes from our Santa Monica hotel. This park entrance looks very much like other coastal California trails with the somewhat arid terrain, but as you venture further into the trail, over a few short hills, the scenery changes. Suddenly, the trail is lush, green and shady, with a blanket of ivy covering the entire canyon floor at some points. This portion of the hike is particularly beautiful during the spring as the wildflowers are in bloom, adding gorgeous hints of bright color. Roughly 1.3 miles later, the trail meets the East Topanga Fire Road. This point of the hike offers some incredible views of the Santa Monica Bay, so you can choose to stop here, take them in and return. For those looking for a bit of a challenge, follow the Fire Road as it begins a fairly steep ascent heading further north into the State Park. The stunning panoramic views continue until you reach Parker Mesa, one of the more popular look out points in the Park. From here, hikers are treated to sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean to the west, and past downtown to the distant San Bernardino mountains inland. Take in the scenery and catch your breath before heading back the way you came. Our suggestion? Cool down with a cocktail by the pool upon your return to Oceana.

Address: 26876 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas

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