Living in Los Angeles has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in life, but it wouldn’t be the same without all the great outdoor activities available throughout the city. Who would expect L.A. to be a mecca for hiking? Expected or not, it’s one of the greatest spots for hiking, with hills all around! If you’re willing to travel, you can find even more to do. Here are some of my favorite trails in and around L.A.!
- No list of L.A. hiking adventures would be complete without a traditional stop at Runyon Canyon. It’s a great place to spot minor celebrities
The joke is that going to Runyon for a “hike” is more like driving an hour for a glorified walk, but there are still some steep spots where you can get a decent workout.
- Wildwood in Burbank is one of my favorite areas to explore. It’s two miles to the summit tower, where you have the option of turning around for the two mile return trip, or heading down the four mile fire road. If you’re in the mood for a (much) longer hike, you can start in Brand Park, Stough Canyon Park, or La Tuna closer to Tujunga on the other side of the mountain. If you’re up for it, you could hang out here all day.
- Another deeply connected set of trails will take you as close to the Hollywood sign as you’re ever likely to get. You’ll find it at Griffith Park, another spot where you could spend all day if you’re in the mood for a bit of exploration. Also in the vicinity are Griffith Observatory and the L.A. Zoo.
- My absolute favorite trail in L.A. is Temescal Canyon in Topanga State Park, right near the Pacific Palisades. Again, you can spend all day hiking from one place to another. A far-out spot called “the Hub” is miles past “Skull Rock”, and a number of trails intersect at that spot. Most people turn back there. If you do this hike during the rainy season, you might catch a glimpse of a (very small) waterfall.
- If you’re willing to travel outside of Los Angeles, check out the Bridge to Nowhere. It’s about a ten mile out-and-back hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. There isn’t much elevation gain, but you’ll have to cross a rocky creek once or twice or eight times depending on how far off the path you find yourself. It can be strenuous, but it isn’t too bad. At the end of the hike, there is literally a bridge in the middle of nowhere, just above a nice swimming hole. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can bungee jump from the bridge.