Parker Mesa Overlook from Los Liones
This is a moderately difficult out and back trail to Parker Mesa Overlook in Topanga Canyon State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The overlook has a beautiful view of Santa Monica bay. It is quite popular.
This hike starts on Los Liones drive which is off Sunset Boulevard just above the Pacific Coast Highway. On Los Liones there are a few parking lots and some street parking. All free, but carefully follow the parking regulation signs. At one of the parking lots is a restroom. As you drive up Los Liones at a bend to the left after the parking lots there is a gate where the hike starts. Despite it's popularity parking isn't normally a problem.
It starts in a canyon with lots of vegetation but slowly climbs and the vegetation gets smaller and more sparse. As you climb the views improve. There is a bench about half way but that's about all for services. More that half the hike has little to no shade.
Continuing, the Los Liones trail connects to the East Topanga Fire road. If you want a shorter hike to Parker Mesa you enter from Paseo Miramar trail head (Paseo Miramar is one street up Sunset and is a winding drive up the hill). After continuing on the fire road for a few miles. there is a sign on your left for the Parker Mesa Overlook trail and to the view. The view will be much nicer if you pick a clear day. Retrace your steps to get back to your starting point.
East Topanga continues all the way to Trippet Ranch and into that trail system, so it can be a shuttle to various points including the San Fernando Valley if your willing to walk that far.
Dog are not allowed in on the trails or fire roads in Topanga State Park (https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=629)
It is a little tough for children, perhaps better for older children. Lack of shade and facilities make it a little tough. Although since most of this is on a fire road it will be easier to manage children. One issue is that there are a lot of mountain bike riders on Topanga fire road. On a road of rolling hills such as this some riders don't want to slow down and this can make them hazards.