Today I suggested my toddler and I get some ice cream after his nap. Shockingly, he said he would rather go for a “hike and see horses”. Hmm. Yeah that’s what I meant!
What better place to go for a short hike and see horses than Sunset Ranch at the top of Beachwood Canyon. It’s free and is a great outdoor learning experience for your toddlers. On our latest visit, we saw and heard chicken, baby chicks, roosters, peacocks/peahens, dogs, cats and horses! Toddlers have a great time asking questions about everything that they see and hear. The dogs love to be pet, but watch out for the kitty he can be mean at times.
I’m not sure the stable encourages visitors who aren’t there to ride horses, but they are friendly and welcoming nevertheless. They only require that you stay in designated areas for your safety. Several other families with babies climbed up the hill to visit the horses during our visit, so it’s definitely not uncommon.
- Take Beachwood Canyon Road all the way up to the top where it turns into a choppy fire road. There are two little areas to park near the entrance to the Hollyridge hike or if it’s full you will have to park on the side of the road. You can also take the Beachwood Canyon DASH bus about a mile from the start of the hike. It’s a great walk through the neighborhood.
- You will need water, hats, sunscreen and some snacks. There is no shade on the trail and it gets hot. Closed toe shoes are best as it’s quite sandy/dusty.
- Walk all the way up the fire road until you see the horse stables on your right. You can hang out in this first little area with the picnic table or you can keep walking up the hill to the offices and barns.
- There is a small wooden walkway (look for the hanging helmets) this is where staff will direct you to stand if you just want to look at the horses.
If your little one is getting restless, walk back down the hill and join the hiking trail for a short walk up to a great vantage point of the Hollywood Sign. The Hollyridge trail starts where you see Smokey the Bear standing guard. Be aware it’s a steep drop with no railings, so watch your runners closely!