A couple miles north of Sunset Blvd in the Palisades lies Paseo Miramar, a five-mile hike that gives you some of the most gobsmacking views of the Pacific Ocean you’ll ever witness.

But first, you must pay a price.

I’m not going to lie to you: the first two miles of this thing — a steep, winding, seemingly endless incline up the canyon, with each corner promising relief that never comes — are going to kick you in the face. They are going to kick the faces of your friends, your pets, your distant family members, and your unborn children. Add a ponytail to them and they’d be Steven Segal in Out For JusticeYour suffering is going to be legendary.

But then, after about 45 minutes, something magical happens: your body accepts its fate. And before you know it, the incline levels out, and you’re slaloming down through green tree-tunnels and past wetlands and up through fields of high, honey-colored grass. Finally, you hit the top and there’s a wooden bench waiting for you. You flop down and drink in the views of the rolling Palisades, the muted sprawl of the city, the toy-sized Santa Monica Ferris Wheel in the distance, and that sheet of blue rippling from the crescent edges of the continent. It’s all yours.

Masochism: it has its upsides.

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WHAT: Hike in the Palisades
WHEN: Good all year round
WHERETrail starts at the top of Paseo Miramar Rd

$$$: Free

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