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The Topanga Lookout Trail is a great option if you are looking for a short and easy hike with stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains and beyond.
This 2-mile round trip hike follows a paved road and a dirt trail to the former site of a fire tower, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas of Calabasas Peak, Red Rock Canyon Park, and the San Fernando Valley.
On a clear day, you might even spot downtown LA and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The trail starts at a saddle on Stunt Road, where you can park along the shoulder.
You will see a metal gate blocking the Topanga Tower Motorway, which is the paved road you will follow for the first half mile.
Along the way, you will pass a junction with the Fossil Ridge Trail, which is part of the Backbone Trail that connects to other trails in the area.
You can ignore this junction and continue straight on the road toward the radio towers on the summit. After half a mile, you will reach a wide dirt trail on your left that leads to the lookout.
Follow this trail as it climbs gently along the ridge, offering glimpses of the ocean and the surrounding mountains.
The trail then descends slightly to the lookout, which is a large concrete platform covered with graffiti.
Here you can explore the ruins of the old fire tower and admire the views from different angles.
You can also see the remains of an ATT microwave radio site tower that is being remodeled as a private residence. To return, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead.
The hike should take you about an hour to complete, depending on how long you linger at the lookout.
Sources: Topanga Lookout Trail.
https://hikespeak.com/trails/topanga-lookout. Topanga Lookout Trail Los Angeles Hikespeak.com.
https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/topanga-lookout/. Topanga Lookout Trail: Epic Sunset Views on Ledge - CA Hiking Adventures.