Girls Gone Pasadena: Part Two

At the Topanga trailhead
This is part 2 of 2. If you haven't read Part One, please click through.

For Saturday, our second day, we wanted to run in the Santa Monica Mountains with a view of the coast. We used the Trail Run Project app again to find a good start at the East Topanga Fire Road Trailhead, with a 4.8 mile point-to-point and 1,200 ft of elevation gain. Then we added a little out-and-back to the Parker Mesa overlook along the way, since that was said to be the best viewpoint.

A nice uphill to start
We looked at adding the Eagle Rock Loop (6.6 miles) and decided to cut it short by only doing half of the figure eight, returning on the Musch Trail to the East Topanga Fire Road for a lollipop route. In total, that gave us about 15-16 miles.

The day turned out to be overcast and pleasantly cool, so we didn't get the views of the Pacific Ocean we had hoped for, but we enjoyed the rolling hills and wildflowers. There are also lots of ways to extend this route, with parking at Entrada Rd much easier in the spacious lot, than the crowded, narrow streets around the Topanga trailhead.

Huge, gorgeous tree

We didn't take any photos on Sunday, our last day, but we did a great 8 mile lollipop starting near the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). The El Prieto to Brown Mountain loop is a bit rocky and technical on the way up with lots of lovely little stream crossings. We chatted with a local running group who was doing the route-- they were friendly, fun, and much faster than us after a few consecutive days of running.

Although we didn't have views because of low, thick, clouds, the smooth, well-graded descent was a dream. The mile out and back on an old road was the only downside. We did see pretty fresh bear scar twice, but there were also lots of mountain bikers out and about, so it felt safe to do solo.

These airy yellow flowers framed the view

After our final run, we went back to the house to shower and pack. We had a nice, big breakfast at Real Food Daily in Pasadena, then visited the awesome local running store and source of the group we ran into earlier, Run With Us. It was an awesome spot, filled with a good mix of gear and a great community bulletin board loaded with local events.

Los Angeles was a great destination for a long weekend filled with running and eating-- two of our very favorite things. We're already on the lookout for another city that can live up to the warm weather, delicious, healthy food, and great trails we found here. Have a favorite running locale? Please let us know in the comments!

Running up into the clouds

Gorgeous, vibrant orange monkeyflower

Eagle Rock

Ann on one of the benches with inlaid messages, with Eagle Rock behind

Some downhill!

A showy penstemon

Mariposa lily

Ann running through the meadow and flowers

Rave run across a bridge

On a clear day, this trail would have amazing views

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