Los Liones Hike (Palisades, CA)
Yes! Another hiking adventure! One of my most favorite forms of fitness: the outdoors and exercise. It’s important to enjoy nature either by yourself, your loved one, or good friends. We have been doing a hike about every other weekend to improve our fitness and soothe our minds. If you haven’t checked out last time’s hike, look here. This time, Jamie, Dani, and I headed for the Pacific Palisades in thirst for a challenging hike. We certainly found what we were looking for. It was a workout. Probably the toughest hike I’ve done in a bit. We found our way to Los Liones Canyon and we trudged upwards.
Compared to the Red Rock hike, this hike was a lot easier to get to. There are no non-paved roads and everything is very straight forward. Two cars can go both ways at either time so weary drivers fear not! Coming from Santa Monica, we took the PCH up north until we turned onto Sunset. Not long after that you will turn to Los Liones. We got there around 9:30/9:45am so we were able to snag a spot. By the time we left, it looked like parking spots were slim picking. Also–parking is free! We took the “HANGRY” bus up (our car has the license plate “HANGRY” on it) and boy did that foreshadow our hike.
As some of our readers may know, I have a rather small stomach (I can only eat so much at a time), but a quick metabolism. For long workouts like hikes, this proves to be not in my favor. Feeling happy on my peanut butter honey toast and a cup of tea for breakfast, I skipped on up the trail. I was pulling interval sprints up the hills and amazed at my boundless energy. Note: my breakfast was under 200 calories. This “boundless energy” did not last long, though it did last enough. Of course, looking back, something more substantial was in order.
Luckily, my energy held on the way up. And it is a long way up and we didn’t even go to the very top! There are various places to stop on this trail to take pictures and/or turn around. We kept going when we would’ve normally stopped. The first part of the trail is very Pacific Palisades-esque. It was a thin clay trail, covered mostly by overhang of brush and trees, winding our way up to the more thicker, challenging parts of the trail. I’m not sure if it was just that I was incredibly energetic (much to my hiking partners’ dismay) or that the second part was just tougher, but I had no problem up the first thin part. The “second” part was closer to an Eagle Rock trail where the actual trail is very wide, and it is a steep and steady incline. The three of us broke out into a heavy sweat and there would be no interval sprints on this half of the hike. We stopped here and there to take pictures and catch our breath, but for the most part, we plunged on and rocked it.
This trail got busy around 10:30AM (our hike was almost 2 hours long there and back–nearly 6 miles!!). It was fun to see all types of people from tourists, to meet-ups, to locals. Just have patience going through the trail as you may have to wait behind people or politely pass them. Don’t forget your trail etiquette! It’s always important to respect each other on the trail, especially as danger is heightened. Not everyone is a pro hiker!
The views on this hike are wonderful. You get to see a nice green picture of the Palisades as well as a satisfying view of the long coast line. Though it was foggy the day we went, I hear that you can see islands like Catalina and such to add to the beautiful sights. There is a variety in terrains and what you get to see. It goes from dry brush, to hardy clay, to a deep lush green, to a sandy desert! So while you sweat, you can smile with the gorgeous California sights.
On our way back down, my hangry side really started to come out. I cursed myself for eating such a dumb, small breakfast. My friends knew I was hungry because they were chatting away while we descended and I was quietly leading downwards, slower than normal. Once we got in the car, I was very happy to find ourselves a smoothie to get rid of my hangriness. Moral of the story: eat a good breakfast if you’re going to do this hike. And I really do suggest doing this hike–you’ll get a heck of a workout (cardio and muscle) while enjoying some pretty sweet sights. Hike Los Liones to stay hungry and fit!