Top of the Morning
Tuna Canyon Park Sunrise
Secluded at 1,500 feet in the Santa Monica Mountains, Tuna Canyon Park in Malibu is quiet even on a gorgeous Saturday afternon, its stunning ocean views shared by few hikers. But visit at sunrise and the park feels truly wild: Rustling trees, singing birds, and scampering animals are the only sounds you’ll hear. Hike 0.8 mile uphill on a wide fire road to a spectacular sunrise viewpoint marked by a spiraling labyrinth of stones. Views of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific surround you, and on clear days you can see the San Gabriels in the distance. It’s especially breathtaking when a sea of fog spreads out below, waiting for the sun to break through and turn the sky into a kaleidoscope of purples and pinks. Wild sunrise.
Café, s’il vous plaît: Finish the morning at Topanga’s Café Mimosa (395 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd.), a quirky local spot with French flair serving coffee drinks, teas, and bites to eat (but … no mimosas!). Sip your latte outside on the patio.
This is a 1.6-mile (round-trip) hike. From Topanga Canyon Blvd., head west onto Fernwood Pacific Dr. and then take your second left to stay on Fernwood Pacific. Fernwood Pacific becomes Tuna Canyon Rd. after 1.3 miles. The park entrance can be tricky to find: After 2.3 miles on Tuna Canyon Road, the entrance appears at a junction with an unmarked fire road that’s known as Big Rock Motorway. Parking is available on the side of Tuna Canyon Rd. Hike on Big Rock Motorway for 0.2 mile until you reach an unmarked T-junction; here, turn left and hike 0.5 mile to the summit. Café Mimosa, open at 7:30 a.m., is located right near the turnoff for Fernwood Pacific Dr. Tuna Canyon Park and Café Mimosa’s patio are dog-friendly!
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