These Hills Ain’t Gonna Hike Themselves

Add vista-happy Liberty Canyon to your weekend plans

By The Editors

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11 December 2015

Booze-soaked soirées. Online shopping binges. Watching back-to-back-to-back football games from your couch.

The holidays’ll make a sloth of those who aren’t vigilant.

So grab someone — a family member, a friend, a dog — and make for the hills, now with more green thanks to some late-fall precipitation. Plus: a delicious new picnic-supplier and some natty trail duds to pick up before you go.

The Hike

Liberty Canyon Trail is a moderate hike with tremendous views of the Santa Monica Mountains. Round-trip, the trail is 3.5 miles of hardpack with some ups and downs into canyons shaded by towering oaks and sycamores.

To get there, take the 101 up to the Liberty Canyon exit, then take a right and drive up the road until it dead-ends at the dirt lot. Walk north to the gate that says private property. Head left along the narrower trail that hugs the fence.

You go up. You go down. You hit a three-trail fork. The left trail weaves up along the ridge. The middle trail is a fireroad and kind of boring. The righthand trail is a single track trail.

Go with either left or right — they all merge eventually and lead to Morrison Ranch, which was in operation until 1964. Several of the sheds and the house are still there, fading away into the landscape.

You can head back from here forge ahead; the trail continues for a couple of miles.

Gear

There could be a nip in the air depending on the hour and day. The new insulated vest from DSPTCH and Coldsmoke is insulated but wicks sweat via the latter’s eVent technology. Also looks quite natty.

Picnic

Just as peace and quiet makes for good one-on-one time, so does a nice meal. Picnic LA, a new fast casual concept by the Lemonade crew, does curbside pick-up and online ordering with prix fixe dishes like oil poached Tasmanian trout with farro and squash. They’ve also got handsome picnic supplies — blankets, denim totes, etc. — for rent.

Get out there.

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