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A Park a Day: Will Rogers State Historic Park, Pacific Palisades

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Entrance to Will Rogers State Park (Photo by Peggy Archer / LAist)
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July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces--big or small--in the Los Angeles area.

Deeded to the city of Los Angeles upon his widow's death in 1944, Will Rogers Historic State Park sits on 186 acres in the Pacific Palisades just north of Sunset Blvd.

The park offers guided tours of the historic ranch house (Thursday and Friday 11 am, 1 pm and 2pm; Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm), and a self guided tour of the exterior grounds can be downloaded from the park's website. The grounds and the ranch building are maintained as they were when Rogers and his family lived there.

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Will Rogers Historic Ranch Home (Photo by Peggy Archer / LAist)

The park features well-maintained hiking trails, with an easy two mile loop to amazing views at the aptly-named Inspiration Point or access to the Backbone Trail for those who want to really explore the local mountains. There is a large picnic area with grills and a nature center for those who prefer not to hike. Dogs are allowed on the Inspiration Point trail, but they must be kept on leash.

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Henry walks the wide, level trail to Inspiration Point (Photo by Peggy Archer / LAist)
The park still shows Rogers' passion for horses with it's equestrian facilities. The Will Rogers Polo Club plays on the only outdoor polo field in Los Angeles county every weekend during the summer.

Guided horseback trail rides are available, and park users who own horses are encouraged to bring them along to enjoy the park with their people.

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Horses at Will Rogers State Park (Photo by Peggy Archer / LAist)
For those who prefer two-wheeled steeds, the park allows mountain biking on some of the trails, but not all. Be sure to check signs before pedaling.

Parking is $12 per day entry. Polo matches are free for spectators and well worth the time to see.

Even if you don't like polo, dogs, or horses, LAist recommends hiking the Inspiration Point Loop just for the views, which are spectacular.

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Will Rogers State Park (Photo by Peggy Archer / LAist)