Finding New Perspectives Hiking Adventure

June 25, 2016

We humans are creatures of habit: Not only do we tend to do the same things over and over (and over) again, but we also tend to think about the same things day-in and day-out. In fact, research suggests that up to 90 percent (!!) of our thoughts repeat from day-to-day! As a result, it's super-easy for us to get stuck in certain (and mostly negative) thought patterns and perspectives and ideas about ourselves, others, work, life, and the world. No more! This hiking adventure is all about having fun, making new friends, and using our time in nature to get out of our heads and create new, more empowering thoughts and perspectives!

Our adventure includes a scenic 3.8-mile round-trip hike in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains to Eagle Rock, where (as long as June Gloom cooperates) you'll enjoy sweeping views of Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Angeles National Forest to the north. You'll be joined by MSA's Founder & Chief Adventure Officer, Michael Bennett, who will guide you through a series of casual yet inspirational conversations and reflection activities designed to help you break out of those old thought patterns and begin to shift your perspectives, ultimately bringing clarity, understanding, and happiness!   

Spending Time in Nature + Hiking + Making New Friends + Amazing Conversations = A Life-Changing Adventure!

Adventure Overview


  • Date: June 25, 2016 (Saturday)
  • Time: 8AM—12PM
  • Location: Topanga State Park | Topanga, CA
  • Sweat Factor: Moderately Challenging
  • Program Price: FREE (Woohoo!)


  • 7:30AM: Light Breakfast (fruit, coffee)
  • 8:00AM: Introductions + The Call to Adventure
  • 8:30AM: Begin Our Hike to Eagle Rock
  • 9:30AM: Explore Eagle Rock + Group Conversation
  • 10:30AM: Hike back to Trippet Ranch
  • 11:30AM: Takeaways + Next Steps

Your Program Leader

MICHAEL BENNETT, ED.D. | Founder & Chief Adventure Officer @ MSA

Hey there! My name is Michael, and I am pumped up and proud to be your Program Leader for this hiking adventure in Topanga! A little bit about me: I am a seasoned traveler, organizational consultant, accidental entrepreneur, and life/career coach. Inspired by my own transformational travel experiences and a personal struggle to find meaningful work, I dedicated my life to helping others change their lives through coaching and travel programs. I launched MSA in 2011 as way to support other people in traveling the world, pushing their comfort zones, exploring new cultures and perspectives and ideas, engaging in powerful conversations, and applying the lessons they learned to transform their lives. 

Read more about my story of personal exploration and discovery in Switzerland!

More Information


This hike is a 3.8-mile roundtrip, out-and-back hike with about 900-feet of elevation gain/loss. We will be hiking on on well-groomed trails and fire roads. Our destination on this hike is Eagle Rock, a spectacular rock formation that affords incredible views of the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Angeles National Forest to the northeast. Eagle Rock also has a series of caves that are perfect for journaling, meditating, or simply enjoying being in nature. 

I participated in the MSA Hiking Adventure in Topanga Canyon. They chose a great location, provided easy directions, and even had coffee and snacks, which I feel is the best way to start off an early morning adventure! I really enjoyed the staff, they had a well prepared itinerary, and they were very friendly. We met in a small group, had a few separate moments for discussions and reflections, and enjoyed a beautiful hike in between our thoughts. I really enjoyed my adventure, and I even made a few new friends! I recommend you to join in on the fun; I’ll see you there! Thanks again MSA!
— Kristi from Los Angeles



  • Spending some much needed time in nature
  • Enjoying a scenic hike in the Santa Monica Mountains
  • Engaging in casual yet inspirational group discussions
  • Making new life-long friends



  • A deeper understanding of yourself (and others)
  • A renewed and more empowered perspective on your life
  • An action plan for integrating new perspectives into your life
  • Tools to hold yourself accountable for actions you commit to


I participated in the Santa Monica Mountain hike and had a great time. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the combination of outdoor activity and honest discussion was productive and enjoyable. I plan on going on another Muddy Shoe Adventure and recommend any of their future trips!
— Matt from Los Angeles on his Hiking Adventure


The following items are included in the price for this Adventure:

  • Guided hiking adventure in the Santa Monica Mountains
  • Powerful conversations and guided personal reflection activities
  • An optional 30-minute follow-up call with your MSA Program Leader



The following items are not included in the price for this Adventure: 

  • Food (So eat before you arrive or bring food!)
  • Transportation to/from program location
  • Any other personal items (ex: sunscreen, etc.)



We'll rendezvous at the parking lot at Trippet Ranch at Topanga State Park by 8AM. Located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park features 36 miles of trails through open grassland, live oaks, and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The park is located entirely within the Los Angeles city limits and is considered the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city. The park is bound on the south by Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, on the west by Topanga Canyon, and on the east by Rustic Canyon. Numerous geologic formations can be found in the park, including earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and a variety of sedimentary formations.

From Pacific Coast Highway, travel north on Topanga Canyon Blvd., pass the post office at the center of "town," then turn right on Entrada Road. Keep to the left at every opportunity until you reach the park's main parking lot (about 1 mile).

From the Ventura Freeway (101), exit at Topanga Canyon Blvd., drive south over the crest of the mountains and proceed three miles to Entrada Road and turn left. Keep to the left at every opportunity until you reach the park's main parking lot (about 1 mile).

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to come of the more frequently asked questions about this Finding New Perspectives Adventure. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact us!


Is this adventure for me?

This adventure is for you if you enjoy spending time in nature and engaging in outdoor activities, making new friends, and challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zones. You also want to shake things up in your life, start seeing things (and people) from more empowered perspectives, and bring more appreciation into your life. 


How long is the hike? 

The hike is considered an "out-and-back," and is approximately 1.9-miles in each direction for a total of just under 4 miles. Hiking time will be approximately 1-hour in each direction, and we'll spend about an hour or so at Eagle Rock. 


Is this hike dangerous?

Other than the usual suspects — sprained ankles, blisters, etc. — this hike is very safe. Some wildlife will be present (ex: birds, lizards). Although unlikely, it is possible that we will encounter more dangerous creatures such as rattlesnakes or mountain lions. 


Do I need to be in amazing shape to participate?

You should be able to hike for 2-hours on a moderate grade trail, but you do not need to be marathon- or Tough Mudder ready!


Who else is going on this hike with me?

Most of our programs have 6—8 participants, although group sizes do vary. Generally speaking, there is usually a 50/50 mix of males and females ranging from 21—50 years old on our programs. 


What do I need to bring?

This is a low-maintenance program: You need to bring hiking shoes, water for yourself, snacks, and any other personal items (ex: sunscreen, etc.) and that's about it. We'll send out an email with a more detailed gear list closer to the program date that will factor in weather and other considerations. 


What kind of personal development activities are we going to do?

Like most Muddy Shoe Adventures, this Hiking Adventure consists of a mix of facilitated group conversations and personal reflection activities such as journaling. You'll also be given opportunities to share your stories, insights, and lessons from your experiences with your new friends. On ALL of our programs, we do our best to create a safe and supportive environment for you to really dive into your work and your process of self-exploration and -discovery. 


What should I do if I have questions that are not addressed here?

Simple—CONTACT US! We're always happy to talk to you about any questions, concerns, or ideas you have about your program.