This is one of my favorite hikes. The view is amazing and the hike is sure to kick your butt! I’ve done this trail a few times before. This time, I got to go with my very first roommate from college! It was nice to reunite with her since she’s been abroad for so long; we’ve tried so many times to make plans but something always came up.
Last, last Saturday [4.18.15], we finally got to meet up for a hike. Originally, we planned for a hike in the Angeles National forest, but we decided that morning to change our hiking plans to one I’m familiar with; and since she drove all the way from Corona and has never hiked in LA, I knew this would be the perfect hike! This beautiful Santa Monica ocean view will make any drive worth it, in my opinion.
There are two places to park for this hike, at the bottom of the Los Leones trail head, and there’s a residential area you can park and start the hike about 2 miles into it. I don’t know exactly where that is, but I’ve done both. This time, we did the entire trail. The parking at the bottom is mostly street parking (there was plenty on an early Saturday morning) and a few free lots scattered throughout the street. There’s even a small trail that leads from the entrance of Topanga State Park to the Los Leones trail head; I’ve done this before as well and parked along the street.
This hike inclines almost the entire way up. After the first mile or so, there was very little shade. We started at 8:30 am, made it to the top at 10 am, left by 10:30ish, and got down by 12:20 pm. You will see some narrow side dirt trails and those are just different trails that lead back to the wide trail. My friend made her own protein energy granola bars (which was pretty yummy), and I made hard-boiled eggs and brought bananas, so we had a little picnic at the top. We met this nice group along the way and mingled with them too. I love meeting new people and friendly hikers, even if I never speak to them again, but they helped us capture some fun pictures jumping around at top. On the way down, we also encountered a swarm of bees — we heard them first, then saw their shadow on the ground, so of course, we ran!
I wanted to start training for Mt Whitney, so I’m starting to bring more water bottles/ weight on me when I hike. I had maybe 5-6 lbs on this hike and I was dying in the first hour… I did a little better the next day, but I think I’m seriously underestimating Whitney. I’m hiking Mt Baldy this weekend so I hope it goes better…
Distance: 8.3 mi
Time: 3 hr 10 min (excluding rest at top)
Elevation Gain: 1352 ft
When I got home, & I attempted my first fruit smoothie which was a yummy success: strawberries, oranges & ice. All natural, no added sugars or anything! 😀 K.I.S.S — keep it simple stupid.
Which reminds me, my friend’s friend started a food challenge called Cookuary. You basically cook everything yourself and not eat out for a month; I guess it’s supposed to make you realize people who make their own food tend to opt for healthier options. I haven’t attempted the challenge yet, but I will say that I’ve noticed since I’ve been cooking, I do opt for healthier/ organic groceries and meals.