When I was in Elementary School, my mom, dad, sister, and I - along with a friend - hiked from Sunset Blvd and Temescal Canyon all the way to Skull Rock (picture above). As as kid, the round trip hike took us about five hours (as an adult, the same hike takes 90 minutes).
I remember my dad saying "next time, we'll hike up to the top of that next peak" (above). Unfortunately, there was never a "next time" - and we never made that hike.
It's called Goat Peak, at least it was a long time ago. I've never heard anyone call it that. I called it "1729" (which is it's elevation). Everyone else refers to it as High Peak. Let's go with that.
I bought a trail map a while back. No trail to the top. Hmmm.
But thanks to Google Earth, I was able to discover that, yes, there is an unnamed trail, and even found the trailhead (at the top of Chautauqua Blvd, in Pacific Palisades).
Four years ago, while we were living in Los Angeles, I finally hiked to the top of High Peak. The photo above was taken about 6am near the base of the trail, with High Peak in the distance.
It's a challenging hike: steep inclines in places, loose rock, and literally some rock climbing towards the top. However, the views at the top are simply spectacular. The photo above does not do it justice. It was close to a 360 degree view.
Continuing on there is a slightly visible trail along the ridge, which is the east ridge of Temescal Canyon. April and May are great times of the year to go with some beautiful wildflowers in bloom.
Continuing on for about a mile, this unmarked trail actually hooks up with the "Rogers Road" trail, which I took back down into Will Rogers State Park. Again, until you get to the Rogers Road trail, it's an unmarked trail, and is difficult to follow in places. I do not recommend this as a "first hike" and, unless you're familiar with Santa Monica Mountains, would not recommend trying it alone.
Looking again at my topographic map, I found that, indeed, there is a trail that I had never noticed before. If you click on the map for a larger view, you can clearly see the trail.
Challenging but do able. From the Chautauqua trailhead to the top of High Peak took about an hour. It was worth it. And all within the city limits of Los Angeles.
View High Peak trailhead, Pacific Palisades CA in a larger map
Here's a map to the trailhead in Pacific Palisades.
© 2012 www.experiencingla.com - originally posted 5/28/2008