The world’s largest wildland within city limits isn’t found in Seattle, Denver, or New York. It’s right here in LA. Topanga State Park
is home to miles of dirt trails in a spectacular setting, beckoning a fat-tire adventure. For the wheel deal with a panoramic vista that’s sure to inspire a yee haw, steer toward the Eagle Rock Loop Trail, a 6-mile ride into the wild with an 850-foot elevation gain. The namesake highlight is a porous sandstone peak with 360-degree views over the Santa Monica Mountains. But you’ll be riding high even before you reach this perch. Starting from the Trippet Ranch trailhead—more than 1,000 feet above sea level—the path quickly connects to the Eagle Springs fire road. Take in ridge-top views of Santa Ynez Canyon to the south and Temescal and Saddle peaks in the background almost the entire way. Turning up Eagle Rock fire road, the stones get bigger and the rolling gets tougher—as in, thigh burns. Inspired yet? This loop is also almost completely sun-exposed, so a crisp fall day and a dose of sunscreen are helpful in this test of mettle. At Eagle Rock, hop off your bike and wander the barren outcropping, exploring its gaps and archways while soaking in the soaring views, including the San Fernando Valley, Topanga Canyon, Santa Monica Bay, and a swatch of the Pacific. It’s a speedy descent back to Trippet Ranch. Oh yeah, we’ll say it: Fly like an eagle!
From Topanga Canyon Blvd., 4.6 miles inland from PCH and 7.7 miles south of the 101, turn east onto Entrada Rd. Drive up the hill for 1 mile, following signs for Topanga State Park. There is a $10 day-use fee to park at Trippet Ranch, which is open from 8:00 a.m. to sunset. Bike a quarter-mile up the main trail until you reach a T at Eagle Springs fire road. Turn left and pedal 1.5 miles to Eagle Rock fire road. Turn left and climb 0.4-mile to Eagle Rock before continuing northeast toward Hub Junction. Turn right onto Eagle Springs fire road and return to the trailhead, passing Eagle Rock fire road after 1.5 miles. All junctions are well-marked. No dogs.