Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Trail type
2.40 mi (3.86 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.

Adventurers seeking a relatively relaxed, scenic hike will enjoy the Temescal Ridge Trail.  The path winds its way southward from Temescal Gateway Park to the Temescal Ridge Fire Road. A plethora of wildlife and countless breathtaking views make this trail particularly attractive to outdoor enthusiasts; California sycamore, coastal prickly pear, chamise, and sugarbush are just a few of the native plants that call the Temescal Ridge Trail home. The Pacific Palisades and Pacific Ocean lay to the west, while Century City and downtown Los Angeles can be seen to the southeast. Other iconic landmarks that can be spotted from the trail include the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Bay, and the Palos Verdes Hills.

Many hikers pause along the way when they reach Skull Rock, a hulking sandstone formation that resembles a human skull. This spot boasts a clear view of the ocean, and if the weather cooperates you might be able to see Catalina Island. If you want to extend your hike by a few miles, Skull Rock is a good place to merge onto the Temescal Canyon Loop, which will lead you to Topanga State Park.

The meandering Temescal Ridge Trail is an excellent fall, winter, or spring hike for the people who value stunning views over seclusion.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Views over Santa Monica Bay. Access from Santa Monica.


Very heavily used. Limited parking.

Trailhead Elevation

320.00 ft (97.54 m)


Big vistas


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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