Hikes in Los Angeles
Los Angeles Hikes
When it comes to Los Angeles hikes, locals and tourists alike will find a good variety of adventures that align with their age, interests, and skill level. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned outdoor enthusiast one thing is for sure, the majority of Los Angeles hikes are easily accessible from the city and include some amazing views of the surrounding mountains and cityscape!
Surprisingly, Los Angeles is a hiking oasis—boasting the perfect ratio of inner-city trails to backcountry adventures. While the City of Angels is usually not considered an adventure traveler’s haven, it is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts in search of the solitude of the unspoiled wilderness and the excitement of an urban setting. LA is a wonderland, and Los Angeles hikes form the perfect contrast to the quintessential tourist attractions, offering a little something for everyone looking to visit the West Coast.
Known as the entertainment capital of the world and a cultural mecca, Los Angeles is one of the most famous metropolitan areas that attracts millions of visitors every year. Because most head to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Beverly Hills, the Sunset Strip, or the Hollywood Sign, hiking usually falls short on the to-do list, but we aim to change this! Los Angeles hikes are unquestionably the best way to discover the wild character and beauty of La La Land and the Greater Los Angeles Area, all you need to do is tie up your laces and hit the trail!
Explore a landscape characterized by miles of pristine beaches and rugged headlands, the Transverse Ranges, cultivated farmland, chaparral regions, inland valleys, timbered foothills, and coastal plains. The topographic range of the area engenders a diverse network of trails that tailor to adventurers of all skill levels and ages. Many Los Angeles hikes are easy to follow and suitable for kids, with little elevation gain or technical terrain. If, however, you are seeking a more arduous and sweat-inducing trek, you will indeed find a trail to test you!
Occupied by a diversity of flora and fauna, famous landmarks, nature parks, gorgeous beaches, tumbling waterfalls, and impressive skyscrapers, Los Angeles is a sight to behold. But, no matter your motivation for visiting the star-studded city, we encourage you to get out into the wilderness and indulge in the beauty of this natural sanctuary on one of many amazing Los Angeles hikes. You can treat yourself to a refreshing beverage after a tiring trek with a bustling bar and restaurant scene.
15 Fantastic Hikes in the Los Angeles Area
Los Angeles is chock full of wonderment and incredible scenery. Enjoy hikes into the rolling foothills, urban greenspaces, along the rugged coastline, or through oak woodlands. Abundant with various wildlife, vegetation, and tremendous beauty, hiking in Los Angeles is tough to beat. Many of these hikes are perfect for families or those looking for easy, low-key trails. However, there is a selection of arduous adventures to satisfy the intrepid, thrill-seeking bunch!
- Top of the World via Canyon Acres Trail - Sweeping maritime views await you on the Top of the World via Canyon Acres Trail. This remarkable adventure near Laguna Beach demands quite the climb, but the spectacular views from the “top of the world” are well worth the sweat.
- Lake Perris Area Trail - The Lake Perris Area Trail is a moderate day-hike to the southwest of Los Angeles that climbs up to the summit of Terri Peak, boasting spellbinding views of the lake below. Note this is a popular recreational area, so expect some company!
- Paradise Falls Hike - Discover a beautiful waterfall hidden in the Wildwood Regional Park on the Paradise Falls Hike. This family-friendly adventure in Southern California yields a diversity of flora and wonderful scenery, affording any explorer a great time.
- South Coast Botanic Garden - The South Coast Botanic Garden is a beautiful space adorned with pleasant walking trails that the whole family can enjoy. Wander through an enchanting garden abundant with an array of plant life and learn all about horticulture and wildlife. This destination is worth adding to your LA itinerary.
- Runyon Canyon Trail - Explore the rugged landscape that bounds the bustling city on the Runyon Canyon Trail. This scenic expedition is ideal for intermediate hikers and families with older children as it traverses some undulating terrain. Those who make it to the trail’s end will be rewarded for their effort with breathtaking cityscape views.
- Point Dume Cove Trail - Located in gorgeous Malibu, the Point Dume Cove Trail traces the Pacific Coastline through a nature preserve. Marvel at the sweeping ocean views from the rugged headlands, then plunge to the soft sandy beaches and enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
- Thousand Steps Beach Walk - The Thousand Steps Beach Walk is a fun family adventure near Laguna Beach. Head to the Pacific Coast and explore the uncrowded beach, complete with a fascinating sea cave. Make sure to check the tides; this hike is only accessible during low tide!
- Lake Skinner Loop Trail - The Lake Skinner Loop Trail is an easy-going adventure southeast of Los Angeles. Suitable for the whole family, this scenic route wanders along the waterline of the shimmering lake. As you walk, you will likely be in the company of fellow-outdoor enthusiasts—those hiking and those in the water.
- Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Trail - Those seeking a laid-back outdoor experience will enjoy exploring the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Adorned with several walking trails, this beautiful space boasts the opportunity to spot various wildlife and bird species as you stroll through wetlands.
- Inspiration Point Trail - The Inspiration Point Trail travels through the Will Rogers State Historic Park into the Santa Monica Mountains, offering breathtaking views of LA’s spectacular cityscape. This is a popular hike, and the trail can get congested on weekends, so head out in the early morning to beat the crowds.
- Escondido Falls Trail - Discover a mesmerizing, three-tiered waterfall in Malibu on the Escondido Falls Trail. This beautiful, laid-back adventure through the Escondido Canyon is suitable for the whole family—enjoy!
- Sycamore Canyon Trail - Immerse yourself in the wilderness surrounded by various flora and fauna on the Sycamore Canyon Trail. Explore the timbered foothills that border the city and enjoy the wild character of the arid landscape. Note dogs are not permitted on this route.
- Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area Hike - The Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area Hike is a pleasant trail that meanders through a swathe of wilderness occupied by waterfalls and serene gardens—offering spellbinding vistas of LA’s famed cityscape along the way.
- Carbon Canyon Nature Trail - Meander aimlessly through an enchanting redwood grove on the Carbon Canyon Nature Trail. This beautiful footpath travels along the banks of Carbon Canyon Creek, boasting a relaxing ambiance. Suitable for the whole family, this LA adventure is worth adding to the to-do list.
- Franklin Canyon Site Trail - Nestled amongst the mountains, the Franklin Canyon Site Trail boasts the perfect opportunity to spot wildlife, waterfowl, and an array of bird species. Wander along the banks of a scenic reservoir, through an area of wetlands, and by a charming pond—just don’t forget to bring the bug spray!
When is the Best Time to Visit Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is a year-round hiking destination. The sunny arid climate engenders ideal conditions for outdoor exploration, no matter the season. However, La La Land is notorious for extremely hot weather in July-October. In addition, the dry climate is predisposed to wildfires—so some regions and hiking networks are subject to seasonal closure. We enjoy hiking in the spring and late autumn when it is not uncomfortably warm and wildflower displays adorn the landscape.
Other Outdoor Activities in the Los Angeles Area
San Francisco is an outdoor playground, and in addition to hiking, you’ll find plenty of other fun outdoor activities. While the tourist attractions, sightseeing, and celebrity spotting tours are abundant, there is also remarkable biking, camping, sea kayaking, surfing, sailing, swimming, and wildlife watching opportunities. This beautifully diverse region has an extensive range of places to explore, and you will surely find an adventure to suit your preferences.
Frequently-Asked-Questions About Los Angeles
What is Los Angeles known for?
Los Angeles is famously known as the world's entertainment capital—with landmarks including the Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Paramount Pictures Studios.
Is it safe to visit Los Angeles?
Yes, Los Angeles is a safe tourist destination.
Can you hike to the Hollywood Sign?
Yes, you can hike up to the sign via the Hollywood Sign via Canyon Drive.
Is the San Francisco Area good for hiking?
Los Angeles’ year-round Mediterranean climate, dramatic coastline, and hilly terrain make for a hiking wonderland.
Awesome Adventure Tours near Los Angeles
While we have yet to curate a tour specifically tailored to the City of Angels, we have an extensive repertoire of adventure tours in California that we encourage you to check out! The Point Reyes hiking tour and California and Hawaii multisport self-drive tour are unforgettable vacations!
Find Other Amazing Hiking Regions in California
- Death Valley
- Inyo National Forest
- Joshua Tree National Park
- North Bay
- Yosemite National Park
- Stanislaus National Forest
- Sierra National Forest
- Redwoods National and State Parks
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Point Reyes National Seashore
- Los Padres National Forest
- Angeles National Forest
- San Francisco
- Lake Tahoe
- Sequoia and Kings National Parks
Best Hikes in Los Angeles
Mandeville Canyon Trail
Hiking the Mandeville Canyon Trail is an epic experience in Los Angeles that will take you through the mountainous landscape northwest of the city. While out on the trail, you will continuously climb further uphill through the exposed terrain, all the while taking in the scenic views that grow more beautiful with each step. This is an extremely popular hiking route in the L.A. area that sees high volumes of foot traffic during peak hours; be sure to arrive early to secure a space and enjoy some solitude on the trail.
Mission Point via De Campos Trail
The Mission Point via De Campos Trail is a lovely day-hike near Los Angeles that will take you uphill for scenic views over the San Fernando Valley. While out hiking the trail, you will steadily work your way uphill across the undulating hillside, before eventually arriving at Mission Point for a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. This is definitely a great hike that the entire family can enjoy, just be careful at hotter times of the year, as there is little shade along the trail to protect you from the sun.
Ascot Hills Trail
Hiking the Ascot Hills Trail is a short and sweet outdoor experience that offers some nice views of Los Angeles. While out on the trail, you will loop around Ascot Hills Park, traversing the undulating terrain and climbing up to some radio towers for a sweeping view of the surrounding area. Make sure to bring plenty of water if the weather is warm, as this trail offers little protection from the sun.
Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop
Walking the Griffith Park Old Zoo Loop is a fun family-friendly adventure in the heart of Los Angeles that will take you around some enclosures from a former zoo. While out on the trail, you will meander along paved paths and pass by the enclosures, all while having some nice views of the city. This is an extremely popular walking route that features a large volume of foot traffic, so make sure to arrive early if you are keen on exploring the old zoo.
O’Melveny Nature Loop
Walking the O’Melveny Nature Loop is a lovely experience in the Los Angeles area that will lead you through a beautifully scenic park. While out on the trail, you will loop around O’Melveny Park, taking in the views of the undulating landscape, serene forest, and Bee Canyon Creek. This is an excellent family-friendly adventure that can be enjoyed by hikers of all ages and skill levels.
San Vicente Mountain Hike
The San Vicente Mountain Hike is a spectacular outdoor adventure in Los Angeles that offers some gorgeous views overlooking the city. While out on the trail, you will traverse the summit of San Vicente Mountain and continue along a fire road that cuts across the picturesque, undulating landscape. Make sure to arrive early to secure parking, as the trailhead can become crowded during peak hours.
Lake Balboa Trail
The Lake Balboa Trail is a fun little adventure in Los Angeles that will provide you with hours of fun. Scenic waterside views, wildlife, boat rentals, and a meandering trail all make for a fun day outdoors that the entire family will enjoy. Make sure to pop into the Wheel Fun Boat Rental shop if you want to have a bit of extra fun exploring the park.
Glendale Peak Trail
The Glendale Peak Trail is a wonderful hiking route in Los Angeles that will take you to several scenic viewpoints within Griffith Park. While out on the trail, you will loop around the park and climb up to the top of Glendale Peak, before heading west to the summit of Mount Hollywood. Make sure to arrive early to secure parking, as this is a very popular area with hikers and tourists.
Hollywood Sign and the Wisdom Tree Hike
The Hollywood Sign and Wisdom Tree Hike is an exceptional adventure in Los Angeles that will take you to several well known spots with incredible views of the city. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill along a gravel road, before visiting the iconic Hollywood Sign and the Wisdom Tree, a lone pine that survived a wildfire in 2009. Be sure to bring plenty of water for this hike, as the trail features little protection from the sun and can be sweltering during the hotter months.
Cahuenga Peak via Burbank Peak Trail
Hiking up to Cahuenga Peak via the Burbank Peak Trail is a quick and easy adventure that reveals some beautifully scenic views of the Los Angeles cityscape. While out on the trail, you will steadily climb uphill to the Wisdom Tree atop Burbank Peak, before continuing on to the summit of Cahuenga Peak. Make sure to arrive early for this adventure, as there will be high volumes of foot traffic on this trail, especially during peak hours and on weekends.
Mount Hollywood Trail
The Mount Hollywood Trail is a great hiking excursion in Los Angeles that features scenic views and is suitable for the whole family. While out on the trail, you will traverse the undulating terrain of Griffith Park, hiking across Glendale Peak and Mount Hollywood before making a return past the old zoo. Be sure to arrive early, as the parking lot and trails will become congested at later points during the day.
May Canyon Ridge Loop
Hiking the May Canyon Ridge Loop is a fun adventure near Los Angeles that features scenic views of the surrounding mountains and an easy to traverse, albeit steep, trail. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill along the May Canyon Truck Trail, before returning south along the ridge. Bring plenty of water and proper protection from the sun, as the trail is fairly exposed with little shade.
Veterans Park Trail
The Veterans Park Trail is a short hiking route near Los Angeles that offers some scenic views of the undulating terrain that flanks the San Fernando Valley. While out on the trail, you will climb up into the hills along a paved pathway, before looping around through the canyon landscape for a return into the trailhead. For those who want a bit more of a rugged adventure, there is also a dirt path that runs roughly parallel to the paved track and features a steeper climb.
The Ferndell Trail is a great long-distance hiking route in Los Angeles that features wonderful views of the city and the chance to visit the iconic Hollywood Sign. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through the undulating terrain of Griffith Park, before summiting Mount Lee to soak up the incredible scenery. While it may be a long hike, this route has stretches that see high volumes of foot traffic; make sure to arrive early.
Kenter Fire Road and Whoop-de-Doos Trail
The Kenter Fire Road and Whoop-de-Doos Trail is a fun hiking route west of Los Angeles that traverses some rugged terrain for a spectacular view. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill along the fire road and steadily gain elevation while taking in the natural beauty of the Southern California landscape. Sections of this trail are a bit steep, so make sure to exercise caution when descending and bring trekking poles for extra stability.
Hollywood Sign via Innsdale Trail
Hiking up to the Hollywood Sign via Innsdale Trail is a beautifully scenic experience in Los Angeles that not only takes you to a viewpoint for the iconic landmark, but actually up to the sign itself. While out on this hike, you will meander along the Innsdale Trail as it climbs uphill to the Hollywood Sign viewpoint, before pushing on to the summit of Mount Lee for incredible views of the city from above the sign itself. This is a fantastic adventure to undertake if you want to experience the wow factor of L.A. without the need to traverse a challenging trail.
Betty B Dearing Mountain Trail
The Betty B Dearing Mountain Trail is a fun hiking route near Los Angeles that will take you between Fryman Canyon Park and Coldwater Canyon Park. While out hiking the trail, you will traverse the undulating landscape to the northwest of L.A. while enjoying the beautifully scenic views of the surrounding terrain. Thanks to the plentiful amount of shade along the trail that offers protection from the sun, this is a great route for exploring with the family.
Riverside Trail to Vista Viewpoint
The Riverside Trail to Vista Viewpoint is a fun little adventure in Griffith Park that traverses some undulating terrain and offers views overlooking Los Angeles. While out on the trail, you will make your way east through the hills and past Glendale Peak, before taking in the scenery from Vista Viewpoint. Make sure to arrive early or at off-peak times for this hike, as it can see high volumes of foot traffic at busy times of day.
Venice Canals Walk
The Venice Canals Walk is the perfect way to spend an afternoon enjoying the beautiful California sunshine. While out on this adventure, you will follow alongside the water’s edge as you weave between the charming canals of Venice, California. If you are out with your dog, be sure to respect other walkers and keep them on a leash at all times.
Elysian Park West Loop Trail
The Elysian Park West Loop Trail is a perfect family-friendly adventure in L.A. that passes through a quiet and scenic parkland. While out on the trail, you will meander along a fairly level path that passes through open grassy areas and stretches of woodland terrain. Parking at the trailhead is limited, and while there is a parking lot close by to the west, you will still want to arrive early to beat the crowds and secure a space.
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