Temescal Ridge Trail
ElevationAscent: 1,852' 565 m
Descent: -136' -42 m
High: 2,101' 640 m
Low: 385' 117 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
Popular runs nearby
Temescal Canyon Loop
3.8 mi 6.1 km • Loop • 930 ft Ascent 283.52 m Ascent
The Hub Out-and-Back
15.8 mi 25.4 km • Loop • 2,227 ft Ascent 678.88 m Ascent
4.1 mi 6.6 km • Point to Point • 121 ft Ascent 36.9 m Ascent
Lower Franklin Canyon Loop
1.9 mi 3.1 km • Loop • 357 ft Ascent 108.69 m Ascent
9.0 mi 14.4 km • Out and Back • 2,125 ft Ascent 647.58 m Ascent
4.8 mi 7.7 km • Out and Back • 226 ft Ascent 68.94 m Ascent
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“Run this ridge line from Temescal Gateway Park to Temescal Peak.”— John McKinney
After switchbacking a few times, the trail straightens out for the most part and continues to gain elevation. Along this stretch of the trail, you have great views of the nearby coastline, islands, and downtown L.A. Be sure to avoid taking the diverging Leacock Memorial Trail and stay on the Temescal Ridge Trail during this section. You'll eventually reach a junction with two other trails, the Bienveneda Trail and the Temescal Canyon Trail. Continue straight on the Temescal Ridge Trail and keep climbing up the mountainside.
After about 1/2 of a mile of climbing, you'll reach the interestingly shaped Skull Rock, another great place to take in the views. Continue along the Temescal Ridge Trail as it heads north. About 1/2 mile north of Skull Rock, a connecting trail coming from the west leads down to a trailhead (called Temescal Rdge Connector or Split Rock Trailhead, depending on which map you're using) accessed from the 1600 block of Chastain Parkway in the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. Beyond the junction with this connector, Temescal Ridge Trail becomes a recently widened 20' width fire road, lacking its former ambiance as a narrow, highly scenic trail, but providing needed fire safety. Continue north 2.6 miles to the small Dean Spur Trail, connecting from the east. If you choose to catch the views from the top of Temescal Peak, make a sharp right turn here, walk about 200 yards to an often overgrown entrance on the north to a short bushy climb to the top of the peak.
Returning to Temescal Ridge Trail, you can continue north a very short distance to a junction with the Backbone Trail and a bit further to a junction with the Temescal Ridge Fire Road.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.
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Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: NPS - Topanga State Park