Places LA: Trebek Open Space and Briar Summit Open Space Preserve, Santa Monica Mountains

Last Saturday, while the boy was rehearsing for his school play, Rosanne and I took to the mountains, but we never really left the city. I have been poking around in Google Maps for a while now, looking through the Santa Monica Mountains for small pieces of green that donate public lands. Recently I located two such places, Trebek Open Space, just above Hollywood and just to the west of the much more popular and busy Runyon Canyon — and Briar Summit Open Space Preserve, closer to the Valley side of the mountains above Universal City.

A few photos from our walk

Rincinus communis (Castor Bean Plant)Downtown LA from Trebek Open Space 

Trebek Open Space is accessible from Nicholas Canyon Road and the up and back route we took was about 1.3 miles in length. You can extend the hike by coming up from Hollywood and/or using streets to create a round-trip route. The trails are decomposed granite covered, yet well maintained fire roads. Briar Summit Open Space Preserve is LA DWP property and also the home to many radio towers on the summit. It is a nice .75 round trip to the top of the mountain and back on a paved access road.

Both locations are quite quiet for being in the middle of the city and both offer excellent views of the surrounding city, too. From Trebek you can see to Downtown LA and beyond and all the way to the ocean in Santa Monica. There were much fewer people at Trebek than the adjacent Runyon Canyon. Where we passed maybe 10 people during our walk the ridge line of Runyon Canyon, visible from the trail, was covered with people.

Below is a slide show from Flickr with shots of the scenery, birds and native plant life.

Click to see all the photos in high resolution on Flickr

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