Perched high above Malibu in Topanga State Park lies the Parker Mesa Overlook, offering expansive views of the coast as well as the Los Angeles basin. This out-and-back hike is just a little under seven miles, mostly along a well-graded fire road. The trail is frequented by trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers, who are eager to enjoy the ocean breeze and panoramic views.
The trailhead is located at the headquarters of Topanga State Park — historic Tippet Ranch — and winds up and down towards the coast. On a clear day you can see the islands off the coast, a clear view of the skyscrapers towering above West LA as well as downtown, and the coastline out to Palos Verde. The hike is stunning to say the least, and because of the wide, well-graded trail, this hike is suitable for enjoying an evening sunset then hiking back with headlamps.
There are a few ways to get to the Parker Mesa Overlook, the most popular begins at Tippet Ranch in Topanga State Park. The ranch was originally homesteaded by the Robinson family in the 1890s, and sold to federal court judge Oscar Tippet in 1917. Today, it serves as the headquarters for the Topanga State Park. Remember to bring plenty of water as much of the trail is exposed.