Rogers That!

Forest Bathing at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles

Man hiking amid a Eucalyptus grove in Will Rogers Historic State Park in California

A massive eucalyptus grove will have you looking up for koalas in California on this hike in American humorist Will Rogers’s namesake State Historic Park. The joke’s not on you, though, because while there are no koalas, this 2.25-mile loop dazzles with great panoramas and eucalyptus forest bathing.

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Park at the lower lot ($3/hour) to get a good view of the city’s only regulation polo field (Rogers was a fan), a pristine green lawn surrounded by scented eucalyptus. Head north of the lot to the historic ranch house and find the trailhead to the left of the tennis courts, marked by signage and immediate switchbacks. The quick ascent rewards you with expansive views of Santa Monica Bay that stay with you as you hike along the ridge. This panorama is hard to look away from (and is especially gorgeous at sunset).

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Continue southwest (glorious Pacific Ocean in direct sight!) before the trail u-turns and heads north toward Topanga Canyon State Park. There are a few spur trails but wait for the junction that has a sign pointing you straight to Inspiration Point. While the elevation here is only 750 feet, it’s easy to see why there are so many benches and picnic tables (with inscribed inspirational quotes) from which to enjoy the awe-inspiring coastal panorama—look for Catalina on a clear day.

People sitting at benches at Inspiration Point at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles

Head back to the junction, where you’ll find a detailed sign of the trail system surrounded by cactus. The trail passes another junction heading into the canyon along some stables; continue and the trail eventually bends south. As different big city and hilly views surround you (not to mention big mansions), you will see a truly remarkable “treet” in the massive eucalyptus grove. The trees almost perfectly outline the trail in what feels like an animated setting. It’s a beautiful descent that eventually passes a ranch and golf course.

Couple selfie at Inspiration Point at Will Rogers State Historic Park in Los Angeles

MORE AUSSIE IMPORTS: Take a short drive to the Rustic Canyon Eucalyptus Grove—a California Historic Landmark where Abbot Kinney established a forestry station and experimental grove full of multiple eucalyptus specimens—now, the perfect spot for a quick cool-down stroll. Get your Down-Under coffee fix at nearby Blueys Cafe, which also has Aussie fare, including an incredible cafe classic: avocado toast. 

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To get to Will Rogers State Historic Park, take the I-405 to the Sunset Blvd. exit and head west for 4.5 miles until you reach the sign for the park. Turn right here onto Will Rogers State Park Road to get to the lot. Dog-friendly!

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