explore la : westridge-canyonback wilderness

The past month all I have quite literally wanted to do is go on a hike. But with the onslaught of rain we got in the first few weeks of the year, it just wasn’t happening. So last weekend I told myself we were going on a hike if it was the last thing we did, and thankfully the universe abided by my request and gave us a beautifully sunny, 75 degree day. Now it’s just got me wishing for summer’s arrival real bad.

I’m hesitant to share this hiking trail just because it is so secluded and glorious and wonderful, but I can’t keep all the joy to myself now, can I? If Runyon Canyon is your scene, then by all means, keep on hiking! I myself prefer less people, expansive views of green valleys, and some much needed peace and quiet.

The official Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park (that’s a mouthful, isn’t it), is just west of the 405 freeway across from Bel Air. I’m not sure how we found this particular trail, but it’s been our go-to when we need to escape the city.

If you’re driving North on the 405, you’ll exit Skirball and turn left on Mulholland. Drive approximately 2 miles, and you’ll turn left on Encino. From there you can park your car just about anywhere before hitting the trails (see my super official map below).


Once you come to the trail “heads”, you can veer left (this area is off leash) or go right (dogs allowed but leashed only). Usually we take the left route, even though Kipling is always on leash (I don’t trust her to NOT give me a heart attack every time she runs to the valley edge). It’s an easy, quick hike – mostly flat – but you can greatly intensify it by walking up and down the small hills throughout.

Last weekend we decided to try the right trail. It’s more relaxed, more secluded, and offers more shade. We ended up doing four miles roundtrip, but from our view, it seemed we could’ve gone on forever. The length we hiked was on quite a wide path, but it appeared to shrink significantly had we walked further. I even spotted a bridge in the distance that I’m eager to get to one day.

Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park is pretty expansive, so I’m looking forward to exploring more of the area and seeing what other hikes we can find.

P.S. Summer come quick.












Check out a Malibu hike and another way to get moving outdoors.

-wonderland sam


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actress/texan kickin' it in los angeles. always searching for my next pizza. cia agent in another life.

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