Updated: Nov 16, 2022
Tucked within Topanga Canyon is the coolest hike that you have likely never even heard of. (No, it's not on AllTrails!) -- Introducing the Topanga Time Tunnel Hike!
A storm drain? You bet! But, not just any storm drain! Follow this tunnel, and you will be led to a beautiful grotto hidden away on the other side. It really does feel like you crossed to another world!
We recommend parking along Topanga Canyon Road (Pay attention to the signage, and do not block the roadway (e.g. do not park over the white line!)) -- Roadside parking is free!
It's recommended to use Jalan Jalan Imports as the meeting point to start this hike.
The trail entrance is located at 1636 S. Topanga Canyon Road (west side of road), and is located 20 feet down past the Slippery When Wet road sign.
Sure, it looks pretty ominous, but what great adventure doesn't start out that way? The tunnel appears steeper than it actually is -- you can easily walk through upright, using your hands to help navigate the tunnel.
Welcome, Time Traveler-- you have arrived! At the bottom of the tunnel, you will proceed by turning to the right. The trail contains a lot of three-to-four foot boulders that involve a decent amount of rock scrambling. We recommend wearing shoes with good grip that you don't mind getting wet.
Continue straight along this trail (total trail length ~2 miles), and you will find more fun surprises -- log crossings, waterfalls, swimholes and sometimes even fish!
This is one of my favorite spots in LA and I love sharing this adventure with others -- it's probably one of the most exciting and surprising hikes you can find.
I highly recommend stopping by in the summer months -- The photo below was taken in late July of 2020 -- the water was crystal clear, swimmable and extremely refreshing. We even saw plenty of fish! Absolutely worth the visit. (I will warn that in winter/early spring the water may not be so clear-- it really depends; I would plan to return again in the summer).