Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hiking Temescal Peak

On the west siiiiide of Los Angeles is Topanga State Park. Read here if you want my initial take on the park and several "Boy Meets World" jokes. There are many trails throughout the park and many ways to "attack" those trails with numerous trailheads along Sunset and the PCH. I decided to enlist my buddy Ryan to come with me and find the fabled Temescal Peak within the park.

Temescal is the highest peak in the park and while visible through most of the hike, is maddeningly tough to actually summit. There is bushwhacking involved but first, let's start at the beginning.

My "attack" on the summit begins in a very picturesque neighborhood in the Palisades at the Trailer Canyon fireroad. This place was kinda difficult to find so just program your GPS to find Michael Lane and cruise for awhile. Part of the trip actually reminded me of New Jersey, in a good way, (its not all the Sopranos there are placed like the Delaware Water Gap [rant over]).

Eventually you will see this

and you will know you are on the right track.

Then it is up, up, up your pro-typical California fireroad

The trail rises through the mountains and eventually hooks into Topanga Park proper and along the way you will be treated to some nice views and cool natural features along the way.

Eventually you reach the junction with the ridgeline and at this point you should head to the left/North to reach the peak.

After looking at your 1200th telephone pole, you see the peak but the question is, how to get to it?

My buddy Ryan and I were like keystone cops looking for an entrance. First we thought this kayak trail would lead to the peak

but that trail petered out.

We attempted to attack the summit via the Backbone trail juncture and then looped around on the ridgeline trail looking for access points. Eventually we decided to say "screw it" and bushwhacked our way up to the summit via some goatpaths.

Eventually you reach the posts and the summit disk

and then you are all set to soak in the views.

We found a wash and followed it back to the trail but even then you were bushwhacking it. Overall, the trip is about 7.5 miles roundtrip (tack on another .5 to actually find access routes to the summit) and is a nice up and back if you only have a few hours in Topanga.

There are bikers here but with the wide trails, there isn't much danger of a tie-up like some other bike-heavy trails. Overall, this trail gets 4 Danielle Fishel's out of 5.

Here is a good summary from Hikespeak: http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/temescal-peak/

Big shout out to my buddy Ryan for coming along on this hike, its always great to hike with someone who is as stylish as me :P. This hummingbird is for you!


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