When the heat is on, the coast beckons. This easy, family-friendly hiking trail begins at the historic Pacific Palisades home of Will Rogers and loops up to Inspiration Point. The Inspiration Loop Trail is not challenging. It’s not long. But with balmy breezes, great views, and a dose of history, Inspiration Loop makes a fun outing.
Will Rogers was a cowboy, a vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator and actor. He bought the land back in the 1920s, and built a home, polo field, stable and hiking trails. When Will’s widow died, the land was given to the State of California on the condition that polo be played there every year. Today, you can still see polo matches and take horse riding lessons.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” – Will Rogers
The house and grounds are being restored to the original state. There are docent led tours of the house, and a visitors center with exhibits on the history of Will Rogers’ life and career.
We walked along the veranda of the house, then followed the path along a stone wall to the trailhead.
You might notice that the grassy area outside the house has what looks like sand traps — which in fact, they are. Will Rogers built a two-hole golf course for a friend of his who would visit. At the end of the grass area, the sign directs you to the beginning of the Inspiration Loop Trail.
We headed up the broad dirt trail in the shade of eucalyptus and oak trees.
At 0.83 miles, we reached this junction. Here we had the choice of continuing along the fire road for .2 miles to Inspiration Point, or taking the single track trail to the right and a .4 mile scenic route. Both end up at Inspiration Point. We opted for the longer, more scenic route.
This trail at times pass under a canopy of scrub and vines. It was all dry and brown in the summer, but would be lush and green in the springtime.
The single track trail finally emerges at the back of the the park, and the eastern boundary of Topanga State Park. There is an information board with a map of the area, and the Backbone Trail continues up this ridge.
We followed the signs directing us up the spur to Inspiration Point. The views of the area were beautiful.
From the top, we headed back down the spur to the Inspiration Loop Trail, this time heading east on the fire road. This trail soon turns south and downward along the ridge, meeting back up at the “golf course.”
Inspiration Loop Trail Map
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Will Rogers State Historic Park Tips
- Parking is $12. If that seems steep, just remember that you’re supporting the State Park system.
- Check the Will Rogers Polo Club schedule. They play regularly at the field near the parking lot. If you haven’t seen a polo match, it’s entertaining.
- Allow time to stop in the visitor center. It’s worth checking out, and you’ll learn a lot about Will Rogers.
More Will Rogers State Historic Park Resources
- Driving Directions
- Will Rogers State Historic Park – Official web site
- Will Rogers State Historic Park Brochure (PDF)
- The Backbone Trail
Joel Sax says
Do you know if the State Parks pass works?
ken double says
Is senior pass valid to offset parking? Senior pass for national parks that is.