As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Wilacre Park/Dearing Trail Loop
- Location: Beverly Hills, at Tree People Park. From Highway 101, take the Coldwater Canyon exit and head south for 2.5 miles. Just before Mulholland, take a left into Tree People Park. From the south, follow Coldwater Canyon for 2.8 miles past Santa Monica Blvd. and turn right into the park.
- Agency: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
- Distance: 2.7 miles
- Elevation gain: 500 feet
- Difficulty Rating: PG
- Suggested time: 1.5 hours
- Best season: Year round
- USGS topo map: “Van Nuys”
- Recommended gear: sun hat
- More information: here; Everytrail report here
- Rating: 5
This loop is a great getaway for tired commuters stuck on the 101 freeway in the Valley. Anybody who’s driven this stretch of highway 101–especially at rush hour–knows what it can be like. Named for silent movie star Will Acres, who used to own this estate, the loop through Wilacre Park combines fire roads, single-track and residential streets. It provides a nice variety of scenery, especially on clear days, and packs in a good workout.
From the Tree People parking lot, head down a staircase, take a left and immediately descend another staircase, bringing you to the Oak Trail. Head right and soon you enter Wilacre Park, on the Dearing Mountain Trail. The loop can be hiked in either direction.
If you decide to go clockwise, you’ll head up a brief incline, during which you’ll enjoy some great views of the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains. You begin a gradual descent, arriving at Fryman Road at 1.5 miles. Turn right and follow Fryman (be careful, there’s no sidewalk) and after 0.2 miles, take a right onto Iredell Street. You’ll head uphill through an exclusive residential neighborhood; after 0.3 miles, you’ll head left on Iredell Lane. A quarter mile brings you to the end of the road and you re-enter the park.
You follow the trail, which isn’t quite as scenic as the stretch on the north side of the park, and in 0.5 miles, you complete the loop. Head left on the Oak Trail and retrace your steps to the parking lot. If you have time and energy afterward, check out nearby Franklin Canyon.
Text and photography copyright 2012 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. By reading this, you agree not to hold the author or publisher of the content on this web site responsible for any injuries or inconveniences that may result from hiking on this trail. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.