Will Rogers State Historic Park is situated on the former estate of early 20th Century humorist, Will Rogers. Roughly 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, on the tip of the Santa Monica mountains, this 186-acre ranch features a beautiful countryside full of hiking trails, open spaces, and scenic views of the nearby ocean and surrounding mountains.
What Makes It Great
For history buffs, this park provides a wonderful window into an interesting era of American history -- they can explore the old houses and examine the cars and machines that were used during this time period, and on some days, they can even enjoy spectating the age-old sport of Polo, as there is a Polo field on the grounds.
For hikers, trail runners, and families, it delivers a perfect day out in the open air -- experiencing a pleasant mix of sea-breezes and mountain air. There are plenty of trails within this historical and scenic park. The Inspiration Point Loop Trail is the most popular of these, a 2-mile wide, dirt path that leads to the lookout point known as Inspiration Point. From here, you can enjoy nice views of Santa Monica and the ocean beyond. This trail is a very popular route for trail runners, who enjoy the easy terrain and up and downhills.
Other options include connecting with the more rugged Backbone Trail, which ventures into the heart of Santa Monica Mountains, or hopping on the Rustic Canyon trail, which is an unmaintained route that criss-crosses a creek and leads into a somewhat eerie canyon featuring an abandoned and graffitied compound once built by Nazi sympathizers in the 1930's.
Who is Going to Love It
Sunshiny ranch & Inspiration Point, or a dark, scary canyon with creepy abandoned buildings.... In all honesty though, no matter what you choose at Will Rogers State Park is sure to please, in one way or another.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park is located at 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, off Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades.