Family hike in the Santa Monica Mountains

Starting our hike

The kids and I ended the President’s Day holiday weekend with a hike. I was not quite sure where to go so I researched online for hikes off of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). I have taken the kids to Will Roger’s Park in Pacific Palisades to hike and wanted to try something new. Taking in distance and parking fees into consideration I opted to go to Temescal Gateway Park, also near the ocean in Pacific Palisades, for the hike.

Preparing for our hike I went to the kitchen and packed lunch for the day. I made sandwiches with Oroweat bread, collected snack size applesauce & fruit cups, Pirates Booty, raisins, grabbed some rainbow Goldfish, and made a trail mix for one last treat. After visiting the bank for some last minute parking cash (& free lollipops for dessert) we headed on the road taking the 10 Freeway, to Pacific Cost Highway, to Tesmescal Canyon Road.

At the end of the canyon road we located and parked at the Temescal Gateway Park, actual location: 15601 Sunset Boulevard. There were two parking lots and I opted for the one closer to the mountain. I noticed the payment drop box as pulled into the second lot. Note to self, make sure you bring exact change; I was lucky and had $7.00 in addition to the $20.00 I had taken out from the ATM.

The trailhead

We made our way to the Temescal Trailhead and opted for the 1 mile waterfall hike that I had read about online. I picked this route as the Ridge Trail Junction and Loop trails went straight up the mountain and I was reminded of what Max had said before we left the house, “Do not let the kids fall off the edge of a cliff”.

Lily the dog

We started out with one family ahead of us on the path. They had their dog named Lilly with them. They were quite friendly and our paths crossed each other for a short while. Hiking I’ve never ran into so many people in my life as I’m used to taking paths less traveled you could say. Taking the kids here was good though because it was not a hard hike, but I did not like having to stop frequently to let others pass by since my little ones are slow (perhaps I’m a bit slower now too). With that being said everyone was quite friendly and had encouraging words to share with the kids. Next time we stop at the Temescal Gateway Park I think we will try the loop when the kids have more experience hiking.

As a side note we did make it to the waterfall, and I thought it was the first of two since it was more like a ‘sink faucet running’ than a waterfall. To the credit of the waterfall we haven’t had much rain in Los Angeles recently. After briefly stopping on the bridge we continued up the mountain (on the loop) and headed back down when someone asked me if we had already seen the waterfall. We ate lunch on a rock by the bridge, relaxed some and headed back to the car. The hike took us around 3 hours to complete. I would not recommend going here in the afternoon, there were even more people than in the morning.

Lunch break

Lunch break

The path

Off the hiking path

(day 74)


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