Will Rogers State Historic Park

Will Rogers Trail

To Inspiration Point is 2 miles round trip with a 300-foot elevation gain

Will Rogers, often called the “Cowboy Philosopher,” bought a spread in the Santa Monica Mountains in 1922. He and his family enlarged their weekend cottage to 31 rooms. The Oklahoma-born Rogers toured the country as a trick roper, punctuating his act with humorous comments on the news of the day. His roping act led the humorist to later fame as a newspaper columnist, radio commentator and movie star.

Today, the ranch and grounds of the Rogers Ranch is maintained as Will Rogers State Historic Park, set aside in 1944. You can see a short film on Rogers’s life at the park visitor center and tour the ranch house, still filled with his prized possessions.

Rogers himself designed the riding trails that wind into the hills behind his ranch. The path to Inspiration Point is an easy walk for the whole family.

Directions to trailhead: From Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, 4.5 miles inland from Sunset’s junction with Pacific Coast Highway, turn inland on the access road leading to Will Rogers State Historic Park. Park your car near the polo field or near Rogers’ house.

The hike: Join the path near the tennis courts west of park headquarters and begin ascending north into the mountains. Dogs are allowed on a leash not in excess of 6 feet. (You’ll see a couple of different trails; join the main, wide bridle path.)

Rogers Trail ascends a ridge overlooking nearby Rivas Canyon and leads to a junction, where you take the turnoff for Inspiration Point. Not really a point at all, it’s actually more of a flat-topped knoll; nevertheless, clear-day views are inspiring: the Santa Monica Bay, the metropolis, the San Gabriel Mountains, and even Catalina Island.

© 2012 The Trailmaster, Inc.
From John McKinney’s
Day Hiker’s Guide to California’s State Parks
Trail descriptions and maps have been reproduced with the permission of the author.  To learn more about The Trailmaster and other related publications please visit their website at www.thetrailmaster.com.