Topanga Canyon State Park couldn't be more stunning — and unlike many of the area's ruggedly beautiful parks, camping there couldn't be any easier. A short, secluded, one-mile trail will take nature lovers into the verdant fields and clusters of protected California live oak trees that cover much of the Santa Monica Mountains. The camp is rarely full and often totally empty, with flush toilets, a small washbasin and potable water. Set up under leafy canopies in one of the eight designated trail sites, then share the quiet mountain vistas with the deer and lizards rustling around in the brush, or hike the Musch Trail for panoramic ocean vistas. Sites cost $7 per night, with paid parking at Tippet Ranch for $10 or free on Entrada Road. No dogs allowed. 20825 Entrada Road, Topanga Canyon. (310) 455-2465, —Farley Elliott

LA Weekly