Trails of

Old Topanga
 


On the Topanga Ridge Trail with Stunt Road visible in the background down below.

Overview

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Map Key

  Printable map (1.7 MB)

Official Websites

Trailheads, Parking and Features

a. Calabasas Peak and Cold Creek Trail parking on the shoulder of Stunt Road, 1 mile south-east of Mulholland highway. Map and Directions.
b. The Lois Ewan Overlook at the top of Stunt Road where it becomes Saddle Peak Road. Map and Directions.
c. At the side of Saddle Peak Road. There is a short connector to get to the Backbone Trail. Map and Directions.
d. At the side of Old Topanga Canyon Road. Map and Directions.
e. At the side of Greenleaf Canyon Road. Map and Directions.
f.  Parking in the Dead Horse Trail lot in Topanga State Park. There is a fee to park here. Often this lot is closed. Map and Directions.
g. On the shoulder of Stunt Road at or near where a trail emerges.
h. Cold Creek Trail west end at McKain Road. Map and Directions.
i.  At the side of Mulholland Highway. Map and Directions.
j.  Off of Old Topanga Road. Turn south-west onto Calabasas Peak Mtwy and bear left. There is a small dirt lot just before the gate. Map and Directions.
k. There are a few spots at the side of Summit-to-Summit Mtwy next to Topanga Canyon Blvd. Map and Directions.
l.  At the Top of Topanga Overlook. Turn north-west from Topanga Canyon Blvd and park at the end of the short driveway. Map and Directions.
m. Fee parking at the west end of Red Rock Road. Access is from Old Topanga Canyon Road. Map and Directions.
n. Fee parking for Ed Edelman Park. Be very careful entering and exiting this parking area because it's on a blind curve. Map and Directions.
y. Foundation for an old tower, completely covered with graffiti. The colors and designs change regularly!
z. Locked gates. The Cold Creek Canyon Trail is closed to the public and there is no access.

 

Trails

Download the GPS tracks to help you find your way. This GPX file contains tracks for all the trails in this area.

[1,2,3,4] Backbone Trail - [1]Fossil Ridge Trail, [2]Hondo Canyon Trail, [3]Henry Ridge Trail and [4]Dead Horse Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 Fossil Ridge: 0.6, Hondo Canyon: 3.5, Henry Ridge: 0.7

Climb (feet)

 Fossil Ridge: 70, Hondo Canyon: 100, Henry Ridge: 270 (West to east)

Descent (feet)

 Fossil Ridge: 110, Hondo Canyon: 1650, Henry Ridge: 260

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

[4] Backbone Trail - Saddle Peak Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[5] Cold Creek Trail T1.5 Technical Rating T1.5, T4 Technical Rating T4, NB No Bikes Allowed

Description This trail leads from a large parking area on Stunt Road, through the Meadow Loop to McKain Rd. It's most used to get to the bottom of the Stunt High Trail, a very popular climb. From Stunt Rd to the bottom of the Stunt High Trail, Cold Creek Trail is very broad, firm and even T1.5 Technical Rating T1.5. There is lots of shade under a canopy of huge oaks, and it runs alongside the perennial Cold Creek. Humboldt lilies have been spotted growing on the banks of the creek here! Beyond the bottom of the Stunt High Trail, Cold Creek Trail is no longer tree-shaded and becomes very rocky and rutted in places T4 Technical Rating T4.

Technical Rating T1.5 Technical Rating T1.5, T4 Technical Rating T4, NB No Bikes Allowed

 Length (miles)

 0.6 to Lower Stunt High Trail; 1.1 total

Climb (feet)

 Zero to Lower Stunt High Trail; 20 total

Descent (feet)

 150' to Lower Stunt High Trail; 270 total

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

[6] Lower Stunt High Trail, [7]Upper Stunt High Trail, [8]Stunt Rd to Backbone Connector T2.5 Technical Rating T2.5, NB No Bikes Allowed

Description As you can see from the map, the very popular Stunt High Trail consists of three segments - Lower, Upper and Connector to the Backbone Trail. The trail climbs from the Cold Creek Trail to the Backbone Trail, but many people continue up the BBT to the top or all the way to the Lois Ewan Overlook at Saddle Peak Road. (If you do continue up on the BBT, make sure not to miss the turn onto the Stunt High Trail on the way back down!) The trail is largely shaded with high chaparral, and it faces north so you are further protected from the sun. As you climb, the view of Calabasas Peak and Topanga Ridge just gets better and better. The trail crosses Stunt Road twice and the road delineates the various trail sections. When climbing the trail, it continues about 200' to the west from where the lower segment emerges onto the road.

Stunt High Trail is a moderate steepness with mostly a firm tread but has some rutted and rocky sections.

Technical Rating T2.5 Technical Rating T2.5, NB No Bikes Allowed

 Length (miles)

 1.9 total; 0.8 to the first crossing of Stunt Rd; 1.7 to the second Stunt Rd Crossing

Climb (feet)

 880 total (to the BBT - Saddle Peak Trail)

Descent (feet)

 Zero total

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

The Stunt High Trail elevation profile is shown with that of Cold Creek Trail above.

  

[9] Cold Creek High Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock. Described on Monte Nido page.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[10] Meadow Loop - Meadow Trail, Yucca Trail and Deer Grass Trail (AKA Cold Creek Valley Preserve) T2 Technical Rating T2NB No Bikes Allowed

Description This 0.7 mile trail loops around an area covered by grass and chaparral that has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. There are some small hills, but overall there's not a lot of climbing. The loop is made up of three trails: the southwest segment is part of the Cold Creek Trail, the Meadow Trail makes up the western section, the northern section is the Deer Grass Trail and finally the south-east segment is the Yucca Trail. Whew! There are some short spurs that lead to Stunt or McKain Road with nearby parking.

Technical Rating T2 Technical Rating T2NB No Bikes Allowed

 Back to the Top 

 

[11] Cold Creek Canyon Trail T2.5 Technical Rating T2.5, HO Only Hikers Allowed

Description This trail is closed to the public as of April 2012. It runs through the Cold Creek Canyon Preserve, an area being maintained by Mountains Restoration Trust (MRT), and has been closed to prevent infestation by New Zealand mudsnails, a serious problem in the Santa Monica Mountains and elsewhere. The tiny snails can travel from stream to stream on the boots of hikers. Until a way can be found to keep hikers and their boots out of the streams, this trail will remain closed.

It's a real shame the trail is closed because it's really pretty. When it does open again, you need a free permit to use it, and unless you're a member of MRT, you need to start at the top and turn around at the bottom and hike back up. That's because the gate at the bottom is locked, but MRT members are given the combination so they can get out. You can get a permit by phoning the MRT. The trail is well maintained and is well shaded by tall chaparral. It crosses Cold Creek at least twice, which is why there's such a concern about the NZ mudsnails. Along the way you'll see some old vehicles and the remains of an old hermit dwelling, built of sandstone. The steeper sections of the trail have steps on them.

Technical Rating T2.5 Technical Rating T2.5, HO Only Hikers Allowed

 Length (miles)

 1.7

Climb (feet)

 150

Descent (feet)

 1050

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[12] Calabasas Peak Motorway and [13]Summit to Summit Motorway

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 Calabasas Pk Mtwy: 3.6, Summit to Summit Mtwy: 3.1

Climb (feet)

 Calabasas Pk Mtwy: 1000, Summit to Summit Mtwy: 550 (south-west to north-east)

Descent (feet)

 Calabasas Pk Mtwy: 700, Summit to Summit Mtwy: 570

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

[14] Red Rock Road

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[15] Red Rock Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[16] Topanga Ridge Motorway and [16a]Topanga Ridge Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[17] Secret Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[18] Calabasas Highlands Trail

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

[19] Ed Edelman Park Trails

Description The Mesa trail Lizard Rock.

Technical Rating

 Length (miles)

 

Climb (feet)

 1

Descent (feet)

 8

Trail Profile      Back to the Top

 

 

 

 

This page was last updated February 18, 2017

 

Thanks for looking at Steve's guide to trails in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) and other locations.