Marvin Braude Mulholland Gateway Park, on the San Fernando Valley side of the Santa Monica Mountains above Tarzana, breaks the metropolitan trail head mold. Here the journey and the jump-off place are equally enticing.
Although the Santa Monica Mountains are scarcely three miles as the red-tailed hawk flies from the valley-crossing Ventura Freeway (one of the busiest in the world), few would-be hikers exit the autobahn and head for the hills. This paucity of foot traffic has resulted partly from a lack of valley-side trail heads, attractive or otherwise.
MBMG Park is also the unofficial trail head for the Lemming Trail, a 10-mile one-way tramp over the mountains from the valley to the sea. Lemming Trail offers a grand tour of the Santa Monica Mountains, from Tarzana to Topanga to Temescal to the Pacific.