City lights and ocean views: Brentwood’s dog-friendly, 7.4-mile (round-trip) Westridge Fire Road trail offers both, no headlamp required. The full moon is bright enough to light up this exposed out-and-back trail. Another bonus? Off-leash dogs are permitted—under the supervision of their humans, of course.
As the trail leaves the parking area, it gradually climbs 730 feet, snaking north along a ridge through Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park, toward the summit of San Vicente Mountain. A glance to the west will offer views of Sullivan Canyon and Sullivan Ridge, and behind you are views of the Pacific, and city lights beginning to twinkle in the dusk. The trail is wide open and a straight shot to the summit—no junctions to worry about in the dark. The lack of tree cover means moonlight can shine through unimpeded.
You’ll spot a singletrack trail paralleling the fire road and offering an alternative route to the summit, though this option is more challenging to follow at night. But because it frequently intersects with the fire road, you can alternate between the two routes. As you approach the summit, an old radar tower comes into view. Originally a Nike missile defense site constructed in the 1950s to protect Los Angeles from Soviet attacks, the tower now serves as a reminder of our Cold War–era history.
Views from the summit of San Vicente Mountain (1,960 feet) are the real star of the show: the sparkling lights of Los Angeles and Santa Monica and the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains, with the full moon in the background. Bask in the moonlight, take it all in, and then head back the way you came.
From Sunset Blvd. in Brentwood, turn north on Mandeville Canyon Rd. and then left on Westridge Rd. Follow the road until it ends and park in the dirt lot at the end. Bring a headlamp or flashlight in case of emergency. Very dog-friendly!