Posted by: Aqua Vista | May 10, 2009

Dearing Mountain Trail

Fire road entrance on Iredell Lane.
Fire road entrance on Iredell Lane.

If you’re looking for solitude and a hike on a real path instead of a fire road, the Dearing Mountain Trail in Studio City is a great option. It is a narrow, sometimes overgrown trail full of mild ascents and descents, with nice views of the valley and believe it or not – a rain forest!

DISTANCE: 3.6 miles round trip

ELEVATION GAIN: 400 feet

TIME: 1.5 TO 2 hours

The trail starts out in a residential area on a fire road off of Iredell Lane right next to Wilacre Park. After a few hundred feet you will come to a junction marked by a Santa Monica Mountains park sign (shown here)

  • First junction.
  • First junction.
  • Dearing IMG_1389Dearing IMG_1390 Turn left at the junction and you will encounter a quick ascent via railroad tie steps and a thin sometimes overgrown path. After about ten minutes you will come to a plateau with great views of the valley.

    Dearing IMG_1392

    View from plateau.
    View from plateau.

    After rounding a bend after the plateau, you will soon descend down into the rain forest area and the bottom of a valley.

    Dearing IMG_1396

    Descent into rain forest area.
    Descent into rain forest area.

    After about 30 minutes of hiking you will arrive at a fallen tree and a small bridge. A few feet after the bridge you will also stumble upon a hanging swing. (I never tried the swing and have no idea how safe it is)

    Valley floor
    Valley floor
    Small bridge on valley floor.
    Small bridge on valley floor.
    Hanging swing near the valley floor.
    Hanging swing near the valley floor.

    After a few more minutes, you will come to another junction. Take the path to the right, marked with a “Dearing Mountain Trail” sign post. This will take you up briefly, before taking you back and down again, where you will come upon an old car wreck.

  • Second junction/to the right.
  • Second junction/to the right.
  • Old car wreck.
  • Old car wreck.
  • From here you will come out of the shade for a while and zig zag your way up to the mountain to a lookout park on Mulholland Drive. From there, just retrace your steps.

    Last turn before Mulholland.

    Last turn before Mulholland

    Parking lot on Mulholland.

    Parking lot on Mulholland.

    Looking down on the valley.

    Looking down on the valley.

    To get to this hike, you can either start from Iredell or Mulholland.  To start from Iredell, you must know that there is no parking at the fire road entrance on Iredell.  The closest legal parking is at the Tree People parking lot on the corner of Coldwater and Mulholland.  From that parking lot, head into Coldwater Canyon park and descend a few flights of steps onto Barker Fire Road.  Here take a right and hike several hundred meters down to Iridell.  Walk down the paved street a few hundred feet.  You will notice the fire road entrance on your right.
    To start out from Mulholland, you will find the lookout parking lot on the north side of Mulholland Drive in between Laurel Canyon and Coldwater Canyon.
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