Edmund D. Edelman was a nature-loving L.A. County Supervisor from 19 something to 19 something else, and all he got for all those years of dedicated service was this lousy little scrubby “park” named after him. What’s worse, he has to share the name with the valley he helped save from being made habitable by something besides coyotes and skunk: Summit Valley Edmund Edelman Park. If instead of being a mere “County Supervisor” Mr. Edelman had been a “community organizer” he might have gotten something better than this miasmatic creek bed surrounded by fields of burrs.
Still, the wasteland has some trails, and so if you happen to be visiting the Santa Monica Mountains and have tired of all the magnificent hikes and lofty panoramas elsewhere and you are driving along Topanga Canyon Road anyhow and you are suddenly taken with an irresistable urge to hike in dry brush amid dead trees and coyote scat, then pull off at the pulloff about 3 miles south of Mulholland, pay your THREE DOLLARS to park, sigh deeply and trudge away.
First down. Then up a bit. Then down a bit. Then back up to the pulloff where the adventure all began. An hour gone, gone forever.
The sign at the trailhead notifies belligerent wayfarers that they must leave their firearms and compound bows back in their home arsenals. Death on Conservancy land must be dealt by hand. The sign says nothing about machetes, though, and if I ever need to pass through this overgrown vacancy again I’ll be sure to bring one to do the path-clearing Santa Monica Nature Conservancy couldn’t be bothered with.