A hot day for hiking, but I was not going to sit around home all day when it’s so nice out… unless I have a book to finish reading… and I do… But, besides, I wanted to see how bad the discomfort that hijacked my injured and yet recovering foot was. The day after last Friday’s 7.26 miler, it is an understatement to say that it was just unpleasant. So, I wanted to see if it was okay to handle a hike as short as just over 4 miles. So, here came Temescal Canyon hike.

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Temescal Canyon hike trailhead


Temescal Canyon Trailhead is located inside Temescal Canyon Gateway Park. The main roads to the park are Sunset Blvd. and Temescal Canyon Rd., so if you happen to be on Sunset Blvd., it’s just a matter of turning into the part of Temescal Canyon Rd. that goes into the park.

If you’re coming by taking PCH, you will turn into Temescal Canyon Rd. and drive up a hill of about 300 feet for just over 1 mile till you cross Sunset Blvd.

Either way, you enter the park to reach the trailhead. If you don’t mind paying $6 (last time I checked, but make sure to bring extra in case, or your checkbook) for parking. The drop box is located at the junction where Temescal Canyon Rd. splits into two. Please note that it is not near or at the trailhead bulletin board.

Another option is to park along Temescal Canyon Rd. or Sunset Blvd. for free.


All year-round. During summer, please make sure to bring extra sunscreen and water. The second half of the trail is pretty much exposed, so one could get overheated during hot days.


  • Plenty of water (2L or more)
  • GPS
  • Layers
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen


Temescal Canyon Trail is one of the few trails that I used to enjoy hiking a lot when I just started hiking in Southern California over 4 years ago. It was when I just moved back to Los Angeles and joined a Meetup group called Best Hikes of SoCal, led by Ken Shoufer. The hike is really short, only 4.3 miles to the most popular landmark Scull Rock, with only 1,900 plus feet elevation gain (from the trailhead to Scull Rock). What makes it hard some times is heat.

And today was a hot day.

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Temescal Canyon hike trailhead parking lot

The parking lot was scarcely occupied, showing it was definitely a hot day. Otherwise, it would’ve been packed.

When a friend of mine and I started the hike, the temperature was already hovering 81F degrees. It was not even 10 am. I immediately put my hiking hat on. I knew it was going to be a sweaty hot hike.

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View of RPV and Long Beach from Temescal Canyon trail

I remembered the reason why I haven’t hiked here so long, which was the heat. Along with Parker Mesa Overlook hike, it used to be my favorite. But on this trail shades are rarely found. At least, Los Liones Trail to the overlook is not overly exposed like Temescal. Or at least to the first flat area where the bench is.

I welcomed a bit of breeze along the way, and it felt good on my overheated face. It was extremely hot and I saw an older man whose top was soaking wet in sweat hiding himself in the small shades of the shrubs. His entire upper body bent over and he was trying to catch a breath while cooling himself down in the shades. He must’ve underestimated the heat. I felt sorry for him.

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View of the ocean and RPV and Long Beach from Temescal Canyon trail

I remembered seeing Long Beach from here, but today’s haziness made it impossible to recognize anything.

Of course, I saw Rancho Palos Verdes and Santa Catalina Island in the direction I was looking on. But that was about it.

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Hazy ocean view from Temescal Canyon trail

I looked on in the direction of Downtown LA, but it was barely seen. The thick blanket of haze combined with smog must be lifted in order for us to see anything farther. Rain should come, I kept thinking to myself. Rain should come soon.

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Hazy ocean view. As we get close to the scull rock, we see more of the adjacent areas.

I climbed Scull Rock to have a better view of the ocean and beyond. As far as I could see, there was no cloud whatsoever, and the ocean was as blue as it could get, thanks to the clear blue sky.

farmers market
Once we were done with the hike, we headed to the farmers market nearby the parking lot entrance of the park

Once my friend and I were done with the 2 hour hike in the heat, we decided to cool ourselves down by checking out the farmers market by the park. It was a short walk from the park entrance on Sunset Blvd.

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Freshly harvested veggies

If I didn’t go grocery shopping yesterday…

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And berries

I really liked how some farmers put some efforts into presenting their harvested crops. It is all about presentation!

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And can’t forget about corns, can we?

As I am getting more conscious of the impact that we’re creating toward the environment, of what I eat in preparation of my marathon training and of love for nature, I have been gradually turning my attention to sustainability and self-sufficiency. It is not so much that what I eat must be organic (and currently I don’t) or that I am going to grow everything that I would eat. We must constantly remind ourselves that this is the only planet that we know of as long as we live, and it is our responsibility not to damage it than we already have.

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And more.

The fact is that it is still expensive to eat organic day in and day out if you think about it, unless one grows plants him/herself. But then again, people spend money on what they appreciate most, and some really spend even a penny more toward organic produce and meat. So, it is all about where your priority lies.

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I hoped to see more of this more often elsewhere as well.

It is important to remind ourselves of where we are from, where the food we eat is from, and what kind of impact we generate toward something that we love so much – our planet.

As for my injured and yet recovering right foot, the discomfort has been under control. Knock knock. I may have rushed into testing it sooner than I hoped, and now I know that it may not be ready to handle any more than 7 miles of running. It appears that it needs more rest.

Have you hiked Temescal Canyon Trail? It has two different starting points. Which one do you like better and why? Have you ever hiked beyond Scull Rock before?

Thanks for reading.


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