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This is the Time of Year to Visit Temescal Canyon Falls

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Just off Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, Temescal Gateway Park and the trails that loop into the massively large Topanga State Park mine as well be considered the Runyon Canyon of the Westside. Hiking the near 4-mile loop from the the parking lot along the Temescal Canyon and Viewpoint Trails you'll see dozens of runners, solo exercise zealots and plenty of families and groups of friends chatting it up as they make their way through.

One of the nice features about the loop is a small waterfall, viewable from a foot bridge, that is usually dry during other parts of the year. Even better, however, is the waterfall behind it, only viewable for those willing to be a bit adventurous by going off trail, do some rock scrambling and get a little wet (we use protected toe hiking sandals from Keen). In just a couple minutes, you'll find yourself at a larger waterfall and in a much more peaceful and secluded area. Continue on and you'll find smaller waterfalls and much thicker wilderness.

Likewise, traveling down the canyon from the bridge will also yield pleasant results.

Topanga State Park is touted as the world's largest urban wildland within a major city--36 miles of trails all with in Los Angeles city limits--so there is much more to explore. For those with a more time and who are seeking a little more adventure, the more dramaticSanta Ynez Falls may be up your alley.

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Parking at Temescal Gateway Park is $7. Some free parking can be found on Sunset Boulevard.

Previously: Hiking to Escondido Falls in Malibu