Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)
Trail type
6.80 mi (10.94 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Santa Ynez Canyon Trail starts in a residential area located in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is the main trail to Santa Ynez Falls, but being part of the Topanga State Park trail system, it is a connector trail to Eagle Rock and many other trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Santa Ynez Trail is overgrown with fallen trees and bushes, and it is best to hike this trail right after a rainfall to see the dry creek beds flowing once again. When hiking this trail, it is recommended to wear protective clothing to guard against ticks and poison oak; be sure to keep an eye out for those hazards.

Santa Ynez Falls is seasonal and can be reached by hiking 1.5 miles from the trailhead. To get to Eagle Rock, continue north at the junction 0.5 mile from the trailhead and follow the trail to Topanga State Park for another 1.5 miles to East Topanga Fire Road. This fire road eventually turns into the Backbone Trail, which is a new trail that stretches 67.7 miles across the Santa Monica Mountains.

Hopefully you have chosen to hike on a clear day, because once you have hiked out of Santa Ynez Canyon the ocean views are amazing! From this junction, the last 1.5 to 2 miles are fully exposed, so make sure to get an early start.

While hiking on Topanga Fire Road, you will come across two other trail junctions: one junction follows the Musch Trail and the other junction follows Eagle Spring Fire Road. Continue straight for about 1.3 miles until you have reached Eagle Rock.

Eagle Rock is a sandstone pinnacle that is shaped somewhat like an eagle. You can hike up to the top to soak in the views of the Pacific Ocean or Santa Monica and its surrounding mountains.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Lots of shade. Trail connections.


Overgrown bushes. Lots of poison oak. Ticks.

Trailhead Elevation

600.00 ft (182.88 m)


Rock climbing
Old-growth forest



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