The Temescal Rivas Canyon Trail is a short hike connecting Temescal Canyon with Rivas Canyon and eventually Will Rogers State Historic Park in the Santa Monica Mountains. Although short, it is a nice workout as the trail climbing out of Temescal and Rivas Canyon is quite steep. Its vicinity to the city makes it an ideal destination for city dwellers if you don’t have a lot of time. It also sees much fewer hikers than the Temescal Ridge and Temescal Canyon Trail. The route info below describes the trail from west (Temescal Gateway Park) to east (Rivas Canyon). It can easily be done in the opposite direction as well.
The route described below totals to about 5.3 miles and a little over 1,000 feet of elevation gain.
The trailhead is Temescal Gateway Park off Sunset Boulevard in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is right across the Pacific Palisades Highschool. There is a fee (self paying envelope) if you decide to park your car inside the Park. You can also and easily park on Sunset Boulevard but you should be careful when you cross the street as cars tend to drive pretty fast there.
If you park on Sunset Boulevard, walk into Temescal Gateway Park until you see the signs to Temescal Ridge and Canyon Trails (about 0.4 miles). Take the right (east) road and walk another 0.1 miles to the sign “Temescal Rivas Canyon Trail”. Follow the initial steps and proceed rather steeply in northerly direction in several switchbacks through high chaparral up the eastern slope of Temescal Canyon. Soon you will have nice views over Temescal Canyon and hikers stomping up the Temescal Ridge Trail across the canyon from your viewpoint. After about 300 feet of elevation gain in 0.5 miles the trail flattens a bit and you will turn more directly to the east. You crossed the ridge of Temescal Canyon and now enjoy nice views down to the residential developments creeping up the lower canyons in Pacific Palisades. A concrete foundation marked as “Reservoir” on the maps is seen to the south. After about 1.2 miles (from the start) you will reach the highpoint of the trail (770 feet) and a little further the trail drops down into Rivas Canyon.
Again, you will descend more than 300 feet in less than 0.5 miles until you reach the canyon bottom among lush riparian woodland. The trail now gently leads south along a small trickle of stream and later below and next to residential homes out of Rivas Canyon. Eventually you will emerge from the vegetation and find yourself on a paved road, the private Rivas Canyon Road. From here you can retrace your steps back to Temescal Canyon or continue on the trail right across the road, which will lead through more homes and eventually ends on a meadow. Crossing the meadow will bring you to Will Rogers State Park Road near the entrance to the park. You can linger at the park, end your hike here if you arranged a car shuttle, or eventually turn back to Temescal Canyon.
Below is a short selection of identified wildflowers that can be seen along the trail.