A Bird’s Eye View at Parker Mesa Overlook

After our first visit to Parker Mesa Overlook five months ago, my friend and I vowed to return. Though we certainly enjoyed our hike, we knew we were missing out on something big. The guidebook promised stunning 360 degree views, but we saw absolutely nothing due to the extreme fog. We didn’t know if we were looking towards the ocean, mountains, or at houses. We had no idea which direction was where. It was actually an odd, surreal feeling to be so enveloped in fog (you can see a picture here)—an unusual and intriguing experience in and of itself, but we wanted the whole package, which included the views.

So one morning recently we headed out to see if we’d have more luck with the views. It was a gorgeous day and no fog whatsoever, only a little haze in the distance. What was immediately noticeable about this hike, as opposed to the first one, was that we could see exactly where the trail was going and what was ahead and around us. At one point, we could actually see where the overlook was and got an idea of what the views might be, and they looked promising.

There's the overlook ahead, the hilltop with the lone tree!

There’s the overlook ahead, the hilltop with the lone tree!

And when we reached the overlook, we were not disappointed. There were amazing views in every direction. We saw the ocean, the coastline north and south, inland to the tall buildings of Century City (or maybe Westwood?), and into Topanga State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains. It was breathtaking and peaceful. We were above all the busyness of the world down below. We sat for quite a while just taking it all in.

the coastal view

The view southward along the coast

The view inland

The view inland

There was one thing missing from our view… Catalina Island. Due to the slight haze, Catalina was not visible. We saw the whole curve of the bay to Palos Verdes Peninsula, but nothing out in the ocean. Once again, we vowed to return to catch the missing piece of this hike.

IMG_3528On the way up, the coastal views had been mostly at our backs, but now they were there for our enjoyment all the way down. Of course, we couldn’t head down without searching for some geocaches we hadn’t looked for the last time. Last time we found three. This time we found three more. It’s so fun to have a buddy who enjoys geocaching as much as I do (or at least says she does!), because my family has started to roll their eyes when I mention geocaching. There is still one more geocache to find along this hike, but it is much more off-trail and requires a bit of bushwhacking. We’re saving it for next time.

lizardcactusWe also enjoyed some local flora and fauna on our hike. We saw various birds, a bunny rabbit, quail, and this teeny-tiny lizard and also a colorful flowering cactus.


Not only do we have our eyes set on another visit to Parker Mesa Overlook to catch the complete view with Catalina (and retrieve the seventh and last geocache), we would also like to hike the trail from one point to another, instead of just in and out the same way. The main trail is actually a fire road that continues on to Trippet Ranch, “once a ‘gentleman’s ranch’ for a weekend getaway from the city,” and now it’s the main entrance to Topanga State Park. It will just take some logistical maneuvering to figure out how to get cars where they need to be so we have a way home and enough time to seek the eight geocaches on that stretch of the trail! (Click here for a description of the whole fire road trail if you’re curious about it.)

Who wants to join us next time? : )

The geocaches along the route from our starting point to Trippet Ranch

A map of the area and the geocaches along the route from our starting point to Trippet Ranch

7 thoughts on “A Bird’s Eye View at Parker Mesa Overlook

    • Vi så mange fugler små og store, til og med noen quail denne gangen. Begge ganger så vi kaniner. Første gang i området så jeg en stor slange. Det var spennende!

  1. It looks great up there. Good luck on your next trip to get the last geocache……..and to see Catalina Island. One thing did not work; I tried to “click here” to see the whole fire road trail but the page came up blank.

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