Los Liones Canyon winds it’s way through brush that at times spills over the trail, creating a tunnel. It climbs, and climbs… and climbs (you’ll really feel it on a hot sunny day), finally reaching the epic coastal views of Parker Mesa Overlook. This is a great seven mile out-and-back hike with decent vertical gain that makes a great training hike. It begins with winding single track but quickly joins wide, double-track fire roads with plenty of sunlight.
Getting to the Trailhead
The trailhead begins at the end of Los Liones Drive in Pacific Palisades. Your best bet is to get driving directions via Google Maps. There are a couple of small parking lots, or you can park along the street. Be sure to check the signs so you don’t end up with a parking ticket. This trailhead can get quite busy, so you may need to park further down Los Liones. You can either walk along the side of the street or take the dirt trail that runs parallel on the east side of the street.
For the first mile, the trail winds back and forth through the canyon with dense brush on either side. In the spring, this trail can be lush with green and wildflowers, but much of the year it’s pretty dry.
At about a mile in, you’ll reach a vista point and junction with the Paseo Miramar Trail. Take a hard left, following the wide fire road up the hill.
The dirt road provides a broad and fairly consistent surface, but very little shade. At about 2.3 miles you reach a crest and descend slightly, following rolling hills dotted with a few old oak trees and a surprise meadow.
The trail rolls up and down, reaching the junction to Parker Mesa Overlook at the 3 mile mark.
Here you’ll turn toward the coast, and follow the ridge all the way out to the overlook half a mile away.
The Parker Mesa Overlook has several benches strategically placed to give you a chance to rest your feet, eat a snack and soak in the amazing views up and down the coast.
Time it right, and you can enjoy the sunset and watch the city light up as night falls.
When you’re ready, turn around and retrace your steps three miles back to the trailhead.
Los Liones to Parker Mesa Trail Map
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Tips for Hiking Los Liones Canyon
First of all, you should note that some of the signs spell the canyon Los Leones, though most of them use Los Liones. Don’t be confused. They are one and the same.
- Even though this is a day hike, you should have the 10 essentials, especially sun protection and water. This trail has a lot of exposure and can get hot on a sunny day.
- Sorry Fido. No dogs are allowed, even on leash.
- Ticks are found in this area. Try to avoid brush, consider wearing long pants and check for ticks after your hike.
- Mountain lions live in these mountains. Although encounters are rare, should you run across one, raise your hands over your head to appear bigger and make a lot of noise. It’s also a great idea to hike with friends that you can outrun.
- As an out-and-back hike, you can modify this hike to make it shorter with less vertical gain.
More Los Liones Canyon Resources
- Shoestring Adventures regularly schedules mid-week, after-work hikes on this trail. They don’t go all the way to Parker Mesa Overlook, but they often have tacos! Check out their calendar on Meetup.
- You can also hike to Parker Mesa Overlook from Trippet Ranch.
- GPS user? Download the GPX track for this hike.
Los Liones Canyon Weather Forecast
Tuesday 03/26 10%
Mostly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 50s.
Wednesday 03/27 10%
Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 67F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday 03/28 10%
Some clouds in the morning will give way to mainly sunny skies for the afternoon. High 67F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph.
Friday 03/29 0%
Sunny skies. High 73F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
All photos Jeff Hester, June 2015 unless noted otherwise.