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Sullivan Canyon Loop

Intermediate
 4.1 (16) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Hike through Sullivan Canyon and along ridge lines just above Santa Monica.


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Map Key

10.9

Miles

17.5

KM

Loop

1,920' 585 m

High

609' 186 m

Low

1,518' 463 m

Up

1,488' 453 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

37%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Views

Overview

Using the Sullivan Canyon Trail, Sullivan Fire Road, Mulholland Drive, and Westridge Fire Road, this 10+ mile loop takes you through the base of Sullivan Canyon and onto the ridge tops for spectacular views and an all-around rewarding hike.

Description

Starting the hike from Bayliss Rd., follow Queensferry Rd. as you make your way downhill past a green gate and onto a service road. At the end of the service road, you'll arrive at the bottom of Sullivan Canyon, at which point you'll turn right onto the wide Sullivan Canyon Trail that's there. The trail then makes its way through forests of oak and fields of lemon grass as it follows a stream bed.

The trail will slowly gain elevation as it moves up the canyon over the next couple of miles. Then, once you're 3.5 miles into the trail, the path will turn toward the northwest to go up a side canyon that's smaller than Sullivan Canyon. The trail then becomes significantly steeper as it climbs up the hillside. After this ascent, you'll reach a juncture with the Sullivan Fire Road.

At this point the Sullivan Canyon Trail comes to an end and you turn right to join up with the Sullivan Fire Road. After 4/10 of a mile of gentle climbing, you'll reach Mulholland Drive. Take a right to follow the dirt path of Mulholland Drive east for 1.2 miles, at which point you'll reach San Vincente Mountain Park.

San Vincente Mountain Park boasts spectacular views of the surrounding area, as does the remainder of the hike. When ready, follow the Westridge Fire Road downhill to the south for roughly 3.6 miles and you'll reach a small parking area for the Westridge Trailhead. From this trailhead, you can follow the paved Westridge Road for 1/2 of a mile until you reach Bayliss Road, and then follow Bayliss Road for another 1/2 mile to Queensferry Road, which brings you back to the original trailhead of the Sullivan Canyon Trail, thus ending the hike.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

History & Background

San Vincente Mountain Park is home to the retired Nike-Ajax anti-aircraft missile launch areas that were active from 1956-1958.

Contacts

Shared By:

John McKinney

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 16 votes

#2193

Overall
  4.1 from 16 votes
5 Star
31%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#295

in California

#2,193

Overall
57 Views Last Month
5,945 Since Jul 26, 2017
Intermediate

15%
0%
77%
0%
8%
0%

Photos

Nice and shady.  Lots of trees!
Jun 11, 2015 near Topanga, CA
Running through the Santa Monica Mountains
Jun 11, 2015 near Sherman…, CA
On the way down.
Apr 15, 2018 near Sherman…, CA
Cold War radar lookout
Apr 15, 2018 near Sherman…, CA
Mandeville Canyon Entrance aka Westridge Trailhead.
Jul 27, 2017 near Santa M…, CA
Looking up along Sullivan Fire Road.
Jul 27, 2017 near Topanga, CA

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Check-Ins

Jun 20, 2020
Marcella W
Did small loop. Mostly on bike trail. Mostly Narrow; some very steep parts. Beg wide. Wouldn't do this loop. Dogs unleashed. 4mi — 1h 39m
Feb 24, 2019
Denys Poluyanov
11mi
Jan 19, 2019
Damien Sutevski
Aug 4, 2018
Min Chon
Jun 30, 2018
Jessica B
Very mellow, with slight inclines from Queensferry entrance. 11mi — 3h 50m
Jun 22, 2018
Joel Torgeson
Great hike! Accidentally took a shortcut up at ~mile 4.5, so got the ‘direct ascent’ that way! Super fun. 10.1mi
Apr 14, 2018
Chris Hartley
Nice, some Cold War history en route too. 10.9mi
Mar 17, 2018
CindyPaige Clarke
10.9mi

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