Summary: Walk around the imposing gate and down a short paved access road to the canyon floor. Head right for 3.5 miles though a lovely wooded canyon bordered by a seasonal creek, and shaded by lovely sycamore, oak, and willow trees. The first couple of miles moves very gradually uphill, with the last mile or so gaining most of the elevation. The sound of the birds as I walked this canyon was shear joy. Near the turn around point, a 180 degree hair-pin turn in the trail, some interesting reddish colored rock formations border the right side of the trail.
This trail doesn't have any show stopper sights or even a lot of diversity, but if I lived closer to this trail, I would certainly make it my morning walk!
Trailhead: From the 405 Freeway, exit on Sunset going towards the beach, turn right on Mandeville Canyon, left on Westridge Road, left on Bayless, and finally left on Queensferry Road. Park near the gate. Note that parking is very limited. (Lat:34.07368 Lon:-118.50688)
Trail Guides for Sullivan Canyon:
Day Hikes Around Los Angeles
by Robert Stone (Day Hike Books, Inc.)
Hike Los Angeles Volume 1
by Dennis Gagnon (Western Tanager Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses
Ranger Contact: Los Angeles Parks & Recreation (213) 473-7070
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jim Zuber, who has posted 104 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by David on 1/1/2013
Just reporting that Sempra Energy's project is complete and the canyon is open.
Reviewed by Bill on 10/27/2012
WILL BE CLOSED: We hiked this on Friday, 26 OCT 2012 and encountered a lot of Gac Company work insalling concrete mats. There were about 10 workers, lots of heavy trucks/tractors and LOTS of orange plastic fencing on trail. A work supervisor told us that Sullivan canyon, "will be closed for a month starting Monday, 29 OCT 2012" while they finish the various location installations of matting for securing buried gas pipes. Crossing the matting is awkward/spooky hiking or on bike.
Reviewed by MG on 11/1/2011
I like to take this hike now and again-there are tons of birds in the Sycamores and old oaks. A few years back several hikers spotted a mountain lion. Saw a fairly fresh deer kill on Halloween- wondering if the cat is back. I have heard one in Rustic next canyon over, but it was a few years back, too. It was hard to tell if the deer was a cat kill- the coyotes have been at it and scattered the remains. Here's to hoping mountain lions are alive and well in the Santa Monicas. And yes, I keep my dog CLOSE!
Reviewed by Gone Walkabout on 6/16/2011
Thanks to the previous reviewer, I check my dog for ticks after the hike and he had one on his tail - an American dog tick. We hiked the trail today (Thursday) and it was very quiet. We only saw 5 people and one dog. The trail is shaded and lush with foliage and the trail is nice and wide. However, it is badly eroded from water and it is very loose shale underfoot. We we tripping a lot! Probably a nice hike for a hot day, but the tick put me off returning.
Reviewed by Jennifer K on 5/4/2011
The trail is open, there is water in the stream for most of the hike. But, hikers with dogs beware...my dog must have ran through a bush with ticks...when we got home I spent hours removing them from her hair...MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FRONTLINE...or something so the ticks don't attach! Besides this incident, it was great...would do it again.
Reviewed by Michelle G on 2/28/2011
Question- is this trail open? My son wants to go this weekend.
Reviewed by Marjan on 12/21/2010
Please provide a ranger contact telephone number. My friend is lost in the canyon on his bike tonight and I can't find any number to contact rangers.
Reviewed by Steve on 11/18/2010
Good hike went to go see if it has reopened the construction sign has crossed out November 12 with a sharpie, and wrote in December 11 as the new estimated date of completion. There was also a security guard at the gate. If you are looking for a close hike especially a dog friendly one, go just up the street and make a left on Westridge. Follow that road all the way up and you will be on the Westridge Canyonback trail, good hike not much shade though.
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