Red Rock Canyon Hike (Topanga, CA)
I am lucky to have friends who are still with me since kindergarten and middle school. I am more lucky still that they have an enthusiasm for food, fitness, and the outdoors as I have too! Pretty awesome, right? So about every other Saturday, Dani California Cooks and Jamie (she guest blogs here on Hungry and Fit from time to time), and I like to go for a hike. Whether that be Will Rogers, Temescal, or Eagle Rock, we are always up for good sights and a tough trail. I also love it that Noke usually gets to come along too! As we’ve said in many posts before, hiking is one of the best forms of exercise, training, and fitness. I will take hiking over nearly every exercise–it just brings a sense of peace PLUS works my entire body. A few weekends ago, one of us (Jamie, I think?) suggested the Red Rock Canyon hike in Topanga. I had never done it before so I was game!
The road to getting there is a bit tough, but anyone who knows Topanga shouldn’t be surprised. We made it in Jamie’s non-4-wheel-drive Sedan, so I bet you can too! The four of us (Noke included) jumped out of the car ready to take on the trail! This hike was wonderful. I really liked the versatility of it–there were different paths to take to change up the mileage and the views. We took a path that round-trip that was a little under 5 miles. Plus, at 9:30 or so in the morning, there wasn’t much traffic at all on the trail. We were alone most of the way.
It was an incredible workout. There were many uphill parts, some of which I would turn into interval sprints–it would be somewhat flat, and then Noke and I would run up the hill part as fast as we could. Lots of leg activation–glutes, calves, quads, and hammies! The magical four all played a good part. I definitely was feeling that good hike-y ache-y-ness later that night. And don’t be fooled–going downhill can be as tough as going uphill. Going downhill will activate other parts of your legs, balancing out the other opposite muscles that were used going uphill.
The view at the top (and all the way through) was a wonderful reward after the tough hills. At the top of Topanga, you can see the valley on one side and the Western side towards the beach on the other. It was perfect to just stand and enjoy. Since we had recent rain, there was plenty of green along the trail, though most of it was dry. There were incredible, huge rock formations–one of which Jamie took the opportunity to do some crow pose! The beautiful scenery is perfect for being mindful and happy for what you have. We also believe we saw some celebrities–hiking is one of the best ways for celebrity spotting!
I would absolutely suggest going on this hike! It’s a great workout with great views–even better with great friends. We got a lot of catch-up time in while huffing and puffing and enjoying the view. Just be careful driving up there! At some points only one car can fit through, but people around there seem to understand how to pass. It IS possible to escape Los Angeles and into the wilderness! Hiking is a wonderful way to stay hungry and fit!