Week 152: Hastain Loop Franklin Canyon

November 04, 2018

Day Hiking Los Angeles #33: Hastain Loop, 3.2 miles

A bit of L.A. outdoor snobbery here: Central Park in Manhattan has nothing compared to Franklin Canyon's dazzling panoramic views and challenging trails in the midst of Beverly Hills. This morning Barbara and I did our first hike from Casey Schreiner's DAY HIKING LOS ANGELES, a new-to-us book of hikes in "the world's largest urban parkland"—the Santa Monica Mtns National Recreation Area. Franklin Canyon, the 605-acre urban park between Coldwater Canyon and Benedict Canyon was/is a convenient location for frequent Hollywood location shoots, including the hitchhiking scene from "It Happened One Night" and the opening credits of "The Andy Griffith Show" (you hear the whistle, right?) The Hastain Loop trail gave us everything we wanted for a rugged escape close to home. We parked near the intersection of Franklin Canyon Road and Lake Road, and walked SE on the Hastain Fire Road. An upward but easy ascent to the top gave us a payoff view extending from Westwood to Century City and Beverly Hills, with a glimpse of the valley on the northern side. Below us, a view of our winding trail up and a peek at our narrow path down. So much fun! Tons of hikers, some bikers, and plenty of dogs made for a friendly climb, but the most fun was the single-track trail Schreiner recommended for the descent. Narrow, slippery, and often scary, we literally crept down the tiny trail on foot (and sometimes on butt,) cautious, wary, and surrounded by a 360 view of nature. All-in-all, the type of mountain hiking we love. We reached the bottom safe and so proud of ourselves! Definitely would do this one again. 

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