Red Rock Canyon Park
As the name implies, Red Rock Canyon is filled with impressive colorful sandstone. The red rocks stand out from their lush green surroundings to create a dramatic landscape. The canyon lies adjacent to Calabasas Peak, which can be visited in conjunction with the park to form an excellent excursion.
Click here to see more photos of Red Rock Canyon State Park
The park’s “main” entrance is located at the end of Red Rock Canyon Road. Main is in quotes because the entrance to the park is so hidden that one must drive down a narrow dirt road to reach it. First time visitors will be questioning their directions, but this only adds to the enchanting character of the park.
The other way to enter the park is by hiking in from Stunt Road along the Calabasas Peak Mountainway. This adds some extra mileage but eludes the $5 fee for parking at the main entrance.
There are two basic trails within the park, Red Rocks Overlook and Red Rock Mountainway. The Red Rock Mountainway is a wide fire road that starts at the parking lot and continues through the park up to a T-junction with the Calabasas Peak Mountainway. The junction is a mile from the summit and 0.7 miles from the Stunt Road Trailhead. The total distance from the Red Rocks Trailhead to Calabasas Peak is 2.6 miles. From the Red Rocks Trailhead to Stunt Road Trailhead is 1.9 miles one-way.
A third of a mile from the trailhead along Red Rock Mountainway, there is a tall sandstone formation on the left that begs to (and should be) explored. Climb above the small caves to gain a sweeping view of Red Rock Canyon.
Hiking the Overlook Trail
Not far beyond the caves, comes a junction with the Overlook Trail. This unmarked single track breaks off to the right and climbs 325 feet over ¾ of a mile to more outstanding Red Rock views. Those looking to break off trail and do some bouldering, will find good opportunities along the way.
How far was it? A lot of numbers have been thrown around, so here are the basic distances for hiking in the park:
- From Stunt Road to the overlook is 4.5 miles round-trip
- From Red Rock Trailhead to the overlook is 2.5 miles round-trip
- From Red Rock Trailhead to Calabasas Peak is 5.2 miles round-trip
- From Red Rock Trailhead to the junction with the Calabasas Peak Mountainway is 2.4 miles round-trip
Red Rocks Canyon is an enchanting spot. The drive into the park makes you feel as though you are entering a remote and rustic location, even if you are only miles from the 101.
Overlooking Red Rock Canyon
To get to the trailhead: Take the Valley Circle Drive/Topanga Canyon Blvd. exit off the 101, and head south on Mulholland Drive. Turn right on Valmar Road which becomes Old Topanga Canyon Road. Turn right when the road comes to an end on Mulholland Highway Road. After a short distance, turn left to get back on Old Topanga Canyon Road. Stay on this road as it weaves through canyon neighborhoods, and turn Right on to Red Rock Canyon Road. Stay on Red Rock Road as it becomes narrow and unpaved. Continue past all of the “no parking” and “no trespassing” signs until the road ends at the park.
For directions to the Stunt Road trailhead, review Calabasas Peak. Use the map below to create your own directions.
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