Image: LA Weekly
- Location: Outer rim territories. Even from the relatively close planet of Hoth, allow at least a week for travel by X-wing fighter. Parking is $5 per vehicle on weekdays; $7 on weekends and holidays.
- Agency: Confederacy of Independent Systems/Sluis Sector
- Distance: 2 miles
- Elevation gain: Level
- Difficulty rating: PG
- Suggested time: 2 hours
- Best season: Year-round but hot during the summer
- Recommended gear: Light sabre
- USGS Topo map: Mt. Yoda
- More information: here
- Rating: 6
The Dagobah Swamp is best known as the home of Jedi master Yoda and as the site of Luke Skywalker’s training in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” It also makes for a short but challenging hike. While the isolation of the planet appeals to many hikers (you won’t have to share the route with mountain bikers or equestrians because since Yoda’s death, no intelligent life remains in the swamp) some may find it difficult to traverse the uneven terrain of the wetlands. Hikers sensitive to the Dark Side of the Force might want to exercise caution as well.
Given the lack of any established landing area near the swamp, the exact location of your touchdown may vary. Head into the swamp, keeping an eye out for vine snakes and sleens. Soon you’ll notice Yoda’s hut in the distance; following his death in 4 ABY, the site while still under jurisdiction of the Sluis Sector has been maintained by volunteers from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
After a mile, you reach the end of the swamp where you can relax in Yoda’s hut before retracing your steps. If you still have energy you can continue to nearby Mt. Yoda, a four-mile round trip with 1,000 feet of elevation gain.