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Topanga Canyon State Park

Topanga Canyon State Park, Santa Ynez Trail
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View from Santa Ynez Trail on August 8, 2008

Click any picture on this page for a larger view.

Topanga Canyon is the largest wildland park located completely within the boundries of a major city.  There are 3 major entrances to the park and 36 miles of trails.  The park includes hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature trails.  Free guided nature walks are available.

This page describes our hike on August 8, 2008.  From the Trippet Ranch entrance we walked the Topanga Fire Road to Santa Inez (or Ynez) Trail and then returned the same way we came. 

More information about Topanga Canyon and the guided nature walks can be found on the Topanga Canyon Docents website at
http://tc-docents.org/ under the "Public Walks" link. 

Also see the California State Parks Topanga Canyon State Park page at

The pictures below are from the Trippet Ranch parking area showing the picnic areas, a few intrepretive and informational signs (make sure to click pic to enlarge) and the trail heads.

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First off, information about fees.

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Picnic area by the parking lot.

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Trailhead at Musch Trail, this is the way to the hike in only campsite which we will not see today..

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A little info about the California native plants & trees and what Native Americans used them for.

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Information about guided walks held here.

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Another picnic area at the far end of the parking lot and trailhead to the Nature Trail.

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All the trails you can get to from here...we will be taking Santa Ynez.

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Trail leading through the picnic area to the Topanga Fire Road and trails.

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Important info to know...especially about the rattlesnakes--give them distance!

The next group of pictures below are of the Topanga Fire Road area.

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The three pictures below show the fire road splitting off into two different directions.  We are taking a left here, heading toward Santa Ynez Trail.

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Directional sign...click to enlarge.

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Trail to the right...

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Trail to the left which we are taking.

The pictures below show the fire road to Santa Ynez trailhead, starting to get more scenic now.

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Finally, Santa Ynez Trail.  The three pictures below show the trailhead.

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From the area at Santa Ynez Trailhead are several good views, shown in the group of pictures below.

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The rust colored plant is California Buckwheat, found throughout the park.

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Nice view, the trail seen in this picture is Santa Ynez Trail.

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View toward the ocean, a little hazy on this day.



Pictures below, heading down Santa Ynez Trail.







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California Buckwheat first blooms as a white or pinkish flower and gradually turns to a rust color.

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Leaves of three, let it be! Poison Oak intermingled with what looks like a type of wild fuschia.

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Poison Oak closeup, the plant is first green and gradually turns red in the fall.

Next the trail turns from shaded to a steep descent into a rocky canyon, little or no shade.


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Turning back, it's August 8th and now mid-afternoon.  It's getting extremely hot and we are already out of water.  I don't see a sign of a waterfall yet but I'm sure it's down here someplace although it is summer and could be dry right now.  Another day...  The group of pictures below are a few I took on our way back.

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Article about legislature that could declare Topanga State Park "excess land" and lead to sale and development:  http://www.topangamessenger.com/Articles.asp?SectionID=1&ArticleID=2951

LA Times Travel article "Camping at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park":

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