CONTRIBUTORS: SHARON BROSSIER & JIM PIERCE
Photos by Judy Herman (top) and Erin Gonzales
This is a short one-hour hike that is mostly on quiet streets and dirt trails. It affords spectacular views of the Santa Monica Bay, South Bay cities, and downtown areas. In the spring, it is ablaze with wild flowers and nasturtiums.
Start at Neptune’s Fountain in Malaga Cove. Take Via Tejon east, past the post office, to the end (4 minutes). Step over the cable and follow the main trail up a grassy hill with eucalyptus trees. Look for hawks in the treetops.
Take the second side trail to the right (4 minutes). The trail descends the hill and crosses a wash near a telephone pole. It passes a large pepper tree that provides a shady rest during the hot months and starts to ascend the side of the canyon.
After about 8 minutes, the trail crosses beneath a concrete bridge and emerges on an asphalt trail. Turn right, go uphill about 100 yards and skirt the gate using the dirt trail to the left of the concrete wall.
Enjoy panoramic views as you climb the hill on a paved utility trail. Continue past the upper gate and along the street to another good view spot where Paseo del Sol intersects Via del Monte.
Bear right and walk downhill along Via del Monte exercising caution about traffic in this area. Turn right on Via Somonte at the La Venta sign. Keep to the right and step over the cable that closes off the road.
Hike downhill one block and make a left on Via Conejo. Cross Via del Monte. With a short jog to the right, proceed down Via Montemar. Make a right on Via Lazo and again on Via Arriba.
Almost immediately on the left, take the set of stairs between tall hedges and hike down to a trail intersection. Go right (uphill) and follow this dirt road back toward Malaga Cove. The road emerges in the parking area behind city hall. Continue straight to return to the Plaza and the fountain. Look up at the hill and see the paved trail that you ascended.